We all know the story. You're a college student having a little bit of fun on the weekend with your friends, and after a noise complaint, the campus police comes to investigate and you are cited for underage drinking. What happens next? Of course, if you are innocent, you will want to plead not guilty, get a court date and retain attorney John P. Winicov to fight the charge. If you do not have a viable defense to the citation, you will still want to plead NOT guilty because if you plead guilty you will automatically lose your Pennsylvania driver's license for 3 months. Even if you have no chance of winning your case, Mr. Winicov may be able to negotiate a guilty plea to a different summary citation, one that will not result in a license suspension.
But, if you decide not to retain Mr. Winicov and you are found guilty or you plead guilty to the underage drinking, what happens to you? There is no jail involved but your night of fun will turn into a long period of pain because you will automatically lose your driver's license for 3 months as a consequence of pleading guilty or being found guilty. In addition, you will have a conviction for underage drinking on your criminal records. Potential employers will likely learn that this conviction is on your records. And even though they are not supposed to consider the offense in their hiring decisions, we all know that they will. Remember however, that you can get the record expunged (permanently removed) from your records once your reach 21. Expungement is not automatic. A petition must be filed and approved by the district attorney's office and a judge must order that the records shall be destroyed.
When it comes to underage drinking, it is extremely important that you know your options and that you make an informed decision. Don't make this decision on your own. Consult your parents and then consult attorney John P. Winicov. Mr. Winicov has provided advice and legal assistance to hundreds of college students at West Chester University, Villanova University, Cheney University and other local colleges. He wants to help you and he will handle your underage drinking citation for a low, flat fee.