Indiana Criminal Defense – Alcohol Charges
Alcohol charges are quite common and at Chambers Law Office, we have defended many clients against charges related to alcohol use or possession, including some of the most common charges like public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and underage drinking or illegal possession of alcohol by a minor. While most cases such as these are filed as misdemeanors, they are still criminal charges and can have serious consequences. An experienced attorney can review your case and determine if there are any suppression issues and help you resolve your case, whether that is through a trial, plea or diversion agreement. If you or a loved alcohol charges in Indianapolis or elsewhere in Indiana, contact Chambers Law Office today.
Public Intoxication (I.C. 7.1-5-1-3)
Under Indiana law, it is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to be in a public place in a state of intoxication caused by the person’s use of alcohol (or a controlled substance) if the person:(1) endangers the person’s life; (2) endangers the life of another person; (3) breaches the peace or is in imminent danger of breaching the peace; or (4) harasses, annoys, or alarms another person. (I.C. 7.1-5-1-3).
In other words, if you are out in public, either on the street, in a bar, or at Klipsch Music Center, and you are drunk or under the influence and are a danger to yourself or others, you are at risk for being cited or arrested for public intoxication.
However, under Indiana’s “Lifeline” law, if a person is intoxicated, but is charged for public intoxication because someone called for medical assistance due to the use of alcohol, the person may be placed in a diversion program under the guidance of the court and have the charges dismissed. (I.C. 7.1-5-1-6.6).
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor (Underage Drinking)
A minor who knowingly possesses alcohol, consumes an alcoholic beverage or transports an alcoholic beverage on a public highway when not accompanied by at least one of the minor’s parents or guardians commits a Class C misdemeanor. If a minor is found to have violated these regulations while operating a vehicle, the court may order the minor’s driving privileges suspended for up to one (1) year, and if the minor is less than eighteen (18) years of age, the court shall order the minor’s driving privileges suspended for at least sixty (60) days.
Using a False ID
Under Indiana law, it is a Class C misdemeanor for a minor to knowingly or intentionally make a false statement of the minor’s age or to present or offer false identification (a fake ID) for the purpose of ordering, purchasing, or attempting to obtain an alcoholic beverage.
See here for more information the possible penalties for misdemeanor offenses.
Facing Alcohol Charges? Call Chambers Law Office
As former deputy prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys Julie Chambers and Katie Kawiecki understand the criminal justice system. As deputy prosecutors, they both spent time prosecuting misdemeanors, felonies and alcohol charges, and they have experience trying both court trials and jury trials. Both Ms. Chambers and Ms. Kawiecki now represent clients accused of alcohol offenses.
While most alcohol charges are only misdemeanors, they are still criminal offenses and a conviction can follow a person for years. A criminal record may effect a job application, internship, housing application, graduate/law school admission, or cause a driver’s license suspension, among other consequences.
If you have been charged with public intoxication, underage drinking/possession of alcohol by a minor or using a fake ID, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Contact Chambers Law Office today to discuss your case.