What You Should Know About Minor in Possession Charges in New Jersey

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Please read on, then contact an experienced Mercer County juvenile offense lawyer to learn what you should know about minor in possession charges in New Jersey.

What constitutes minor in possession charges in New Jersey?

According to New Jersey statutes N.J.S.A 2C:33-15, it is against the law to purchase, knowingly possess or consume alcohol while under the legal drinking age of 21. This law encompasses a number of underage alcohol-related legal issues. In the Garden State, a parent can provide his or her child with alcohol on private property. However, some municipalities have rules and limits to this beyond state law. In addition, if the parent does not consent to the drinking, then the minor’s actions are illegal.

What are the penalties for minor in possession charges in New Jersey?

The legal ramifications for a minor in possession conviction depend on the nature of the crime and a person’s criminal history. But generally, underage people face the following penalties:

  • Fines between $500 and $1,000
  • A potential jail sentence of up to 180 days
  • Attendance in a six-month treatment program

If the defendant is over the age of 18 and under the age of 21 and has been caught with alcohol in a vehicle, even if the defendant was not driving, his or her driver’s license will be suspended for six months. In the event the defendant is under the age of 18, a delinquency hearing will be held, where the court will likely order the minor to enter a residential alcohol treatment center. Additionally, he or she may lose their driving privileges for up to 6 months. If the minor does not have a valid driver’s license, the suspension will postpone his or her eligibility to obtain one.

Given the life-altering consequences of these charges, you or your parent or legal guardian should reach out to a skilled Mercer County criminal defense lawyer today.

Why should you hire Douglas Herring, Esq.?

With more than twenty years of experience handling these and countless other criminal cases, attorney Douglas Herring, Esq. will look at the particulars of your unique case, weighing all the evidence for and against you, then provide you with guidance specifically tailored for your circumstances. Whether you agree to a plea deal or choose to fight the charges, he will work to mitigate or eliminate an unfavorable outcome. Remember the intent is to deter you or your child from ever doing this again, so the prosecutors will do everything in their power to punish you. That is why you should not hesitate to call us today.


Here at the Law Office of Douglas Herring, we believe that everyone accused of a crime is entitled to due process. No one facing a criminal matter should proceed without a competent attorney on their side. We are here to listen to your case, determine the best strategy going forward, and fight for your rights. Contact us today so we can get started.

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