A New Jersey house party attended by a group of underage guests has resulted in a court date for the homeowner and parent of one of the juvenile attendees. The homeowner also faces charges for providing a residence where underage drinking could take place. Police say that the party involved other juvenile crimes, including drug use.
When police arrived at the party, which involved approximately 30 to 40 underage teens ranging in age from 14 to 17, they noticed empty alcohol containers, a strong odor of alcoholic beverages, and evidence of marijuana use. While many of the underage party-goers fled the scene, several of the teens were detained and released to the custody of a parent or guardian. The teens clearly under the influence of alcohol will likely face charges of minor consumption of alcohol and other underage drinking charges.
New Jersey takes juvenile crimes seriously in an effort to avoid long-term consequences of such behaviors. Most litigation involving teens under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances takes place in the juvenile law system. Charges related to underage drinking often apply to the youths involved and the parents or other adults who may have encouraged or permitted such behavior to take place under their supervision. In New Jersey, a conviction of underage drinking is considered a disorderly persons offense with possible fines not to exceed $500.
If underage drinking involves driving, additional charges may apply that could result in license suspension and other penalties. Possible defenses for underage drinking charges may include the assertion that the allegations lack merit or substantial evidence. Regardless of the circumstances involved with charges related to underage drinking or similar allegations, an experienced lawyer may assess the situation and advise an accused person of the best course of action.