In 2012, Tempe Police made 2,479 arrests or issued citations for illegal consumption by minors. The legal drinking age in Arizona is 21.
Students make a large portion of the Tempe population. Spring semester brings with it graduations, celebrations, prom, sporting events and other festivities. The ASU and Tempe Police brace themselves and prepare diligently to arrest offenders for violations of curfew, fake IDs, minor consumption, disorderly conduct, and other crimes that often surround festivities.
But other charges such as DUI, Underage 21 DUI, assault, and aggravated assault charges also surround parties, and other spring-time festivities. These are more serious crimes, and severe penalties, including jail or even prison terms, large fines, fees, probation, loss of driver’s license, and more, especially when they are classified as felonies.
A majority of the offenses, however, usually involve fake IDs, minor consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs. Criminal offense arrests or citations do not have to ruin your life. You may have options for defense or diversion programs that could result in dismissal of the charges so they do not result in a criminal conviction, or appear on your record.
Minor Consumption is a Class 2 Misdemeanor in Arizona. Penalty for convictions can result in Court Appearances, Jail, Fines, Fees, and treatment programs. Other consequences for Underage Consumption potentially include a denial of school admissions, participation in athletics, adverse impacts on residency and more.
The City of Tempe offers both a Youth Diversion Program and a Minor in Possession Program. The Tempe Youth Diversion Program is an option for youths who are arrested or charged with curfew, or minor consumption or alcohol violations. If a youth qualifies and completes the program successfully it will result in dismissal of the criminal charges. The Diversion Program requires the participation in a four hour education program.
Tempe also has a “Minor in Possession Program” or MIP is another diversion program, for qualified offenders between the ages of 18 and 20 charged with possession or consumption of spirituous liquor or, controlled or dangerous drugs. It is available for qualified offenders with no prior criminal convictions in any city, state, county or jurisdiction. It requires completion of an 8-hour substance abuse educational program.
Maricopa County Minor in Possession Lawyer
Keep in mind that youth, students, or minors much qualify for diversion programs not everyone who is charged is entitled to participate. You should always consult a qualified criminal defense attorney, if you have been cited with any DUI or criminal charge whether you are a youth or adult. They will provide you with defense options and help you qualify for a diversion program if you are eligible.
If you have been charged with a more serious offense it is critical that you consult a criminal attorney to discuss your defense options. If retained, an experienced and qualified attorney will protect your rights and defend your charges.