A young honor student who attended a high school party landed in hot water when she was charged with underage possession of alcohol. The 15-year-old was cited when an anonymous caller reported underage drinking and loud music coming from the location of the party.

The girl’s parents were worried about how the charge would affect their daughter’s future. She is a cheerleader and involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. She has hopes of being admitted to a top university after high school, and a criminal conviction could affect her chances. Her parents also were worried that the underage possession of alcohol charge could mean a six-month delay in their daughter being able to get her driver’s license.

They hired Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Michael Fienman to represent their daughter in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas. Fienman reviewed the facts and the evidence and saw the prosecutor was relying on a preliminary breath test result. Pennsylvania case law requires more than just the preliminary breath test to be found guilty of the underage possession of alcohol charge.

While the student could have been found not guilty at a trial based on the evidence in the case, she chose to plead to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct is a summary offense and will qualify for engagement once the girl turns 18.

Fienman negotiated the plea deal on the girl’s behalf, and was able to help the student avoid any delay in getting her driver’s license. Her only penalty was a nominal $50 fine.

Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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