Is There Ever Legal Immunity for Underage Drinking in Minnesota?
3 years ago by Justin M. Schiks
Underage drinking – especially drinking and driving – is a serious problem in Woodbury, Minnesota and elsewhere. Consequently, the law imposes harsh penalties for underage drinking if the accused is ultimately found guilty and convicted. However, it is important to note that there are several legal defenses that can apply to Minnesota underage drinking charges. Some exceptions apply in family circumstances or under emergency situations.
If you or your child has been charged with an underage drinking offense in Woodbury, do not delay. It is important that you have an experienced Woodbury criminal defense lawyer advocating for you as soon as possible in your case. At JS Defense, PA, our legal team will work to formulate a strong defense on behalf of you or your loved one. Please give us a call today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online to find out how we could assist.
Under the majority of circumstances, the law in Minnesota prohibits minors – or individuals who have not yet reached 21 years of age – from possessing or consuming alcohol in all its forms. If a minor is arrested and convicted of an underage consumption charge, he or she could be sentenced to a $1,000 fine, along with a maximum of 90 days’ incarceration.
There are several exceptions which apply to this general rule, however. An experienced Woodbury criminal defense attorney can examine your unique circumstances and determine whether any of these exceptions might apply to your case.
Parental Permission Exception
In Woodbury and throughout the State of Minnesota, a minor is able to consume or possess alcohol if his or her legal guardian or parent provides permission. However, this exception only applies within the confines of the legal guardian or parent’s home.
Good Samaritan Exception
According to the “Good Samaritan” exception, an underage drinker in Minnesota cannot sustain a criminal charge for underage drinking in instances where he or she tries to obtain medical assistance or attention for a friend who is under the influence. For the underage drinker to receive immunity from the situation, he or she must do the following:
- Call 911 in reference to an imminent safety or health concern
- Remain at the scene until such time as medical assistance arrives on-scene
- Cooperate with the authorities who arrive at the scene
These requirements also apply to the individual who is actually receiving medical assistance at the scene, and the immunity exception would apply to that individual as well. One or two other individuals who assisted with contacting emergency services could also be immune from prosecution.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Woodbury Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one is facing an underage drinking charge, let the experienced attorneys at JS Defense, PA review your case and look for possible defenses. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a knowledgeable Woodbury criminal defense lawyer, please give us a call today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online to learn more about how we could help.