It seems like every year after the annual Florida v. Georgia game in Jacksonville, Florida, we see an article in the news about the many arrests the Jacksonville police make of people allegedly drinking while under-aged. In most cases, the police officer will only give the person a citation, or notice to appear in court, which leads people to believe it is not a crime and is not serious. However, a citation for under-aged drinking can be serious in terms of a person’s permanent record.
Even where the police officer merely gives the person a citation, the incident still shows up on the person’s record as an arrest. Additionally, under-aged drinking is not a civil infraction; it is an actual misdemeanor crime. Now, it is very unlikely that a person will be sentenced to jail time for an under-aged drinking conviction. However, if the case is not handled properly the person will likely get a conviction for the crime. A conviction for under-aged drinking will stay on the person’s criminal record permanently. Some people may not be too concerned over such a conviction on his/her record. However, Florida law states that a person cannot get any crime sealed or expunged from his/her record if he/she is convicted of any crime. What that means is that if the same person gets another, more serious charge down the road and wants that sealed or expunged from his/her record, the under-aged drinking conviction will prevent him/her from sealing or expunging any criminal record in the future. For that reason, the under-aged drinking charge can really cause a person a lot of problems in terms of his/her record and the job interview process in the future.
If you have been given a citation, or been arrested, for under-aged drinking in the Jacksonville, Florida area or have questions about sealing or expunging your record, feel free to contact us for a free consultation about how best to handle the case to keep your record clean.