From Fun to Felony: How Summer Activities Can Lead to an Arrest
With the new school year less than one month away, some high school students are enjoying what is left of their fleeting summer through family vacations, movie nights, and shopping at the mall. Others spend their time at the pool or beach. Regardless of the venue for entertainment, boredom often emerges at the end of summer due to the limited activities available for students in Palm Beach County. After that big family vacation, 20 movies, multiple trips to the mall, and achieving the perfect tan, what else is there left to do?
An “end of summer” party; a nighttime gathering with friends at the park; or perhaps even a good old-fashioned prank. Now that’s exciting!
The problem is, seemingly harmless fun can quickly escalate into violations of law. A party that combines teenagers with alcohol could result in an Open House Party charge against the host. The underage guests themselves could be charged with unlawful Possession of Alcoholic Beverages. And upon reaching a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .02 or above, driving a car could result in an administrative suspension of the minor’s license. Taking the party to a club is not much better, as possession of a Fake ID is a Felony.
What about a substance-free meeting with friends at the local park at night just to get out of the house? Unfortunately, hanging out with friends after the park has closed can constitute Trespass or Loitering.
We are left with the funny, innocent prank. What could possibly go wrong? Depending on the joke, the youth could face charges of Criminal Mischief (Vandalism), Battery (unlawful touching), or even Burglary (breaking and entering with the intent to commit a crime).
High school students: Don’t ruin your future in the name of “fun.” Understand your state and local laws, refrain from questionable situations, and consider alternative ways to enjoy your time off. A criminal record could damage your prospects for college and the workforce.
If you do encounter legal trouble, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. For first time offenders, a great criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement – a deal that involves completion of certain terms such as community service hours in exchange for a Nolle Prosse (dismissal) of your case. An attorney specializing in criminal law and procedure would afford you every protection possible under the law, from preserving your right to remain silent, to looking for police error in reports and videos. Most importantly, despite your age, your conversations with your attorney are confidential in order to encourage open communication and optimal representation. Although parents and teachers may want to assist, ultimately you are the client and we advocate solely for you.
If you have been charged with Open House Party, Possession of Alcoholic Beverage by a person under 21, Criminal Mischief, or any other offense, contact Casanova Law as soon as possible. Attorney Casanova is a former prosecutor for Palm Beach County with the goal of protecting your rights and your record. We handle all criminal cases for adults and juveniles. 561-236-5340 or firstname.lastname@example.org