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Any parent who learns their child has been arrested for drinking or possessing alcohol understandably has reason to be concerned.

Under South Carolina law, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to purchase, consume, or possess alcohol, including beer, wine and liquor. Though the crime is a misdemeanor, the consequences can be serious for a young person.

If this charge results in a conviction, your son or daughter could face jail time or fines, as well as driver’s license suspensions. He or she would also be required to complete an alcohol education or prevention program approved by the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. Your child could end up with a criminal record, causing problems in seeking employment and jeopardizing education opportunities and eligibility for financial aid.

There are ways to soften or avoid the consequences of underage alcohol charges, though, and the experienced attorneys at Morton & Gettys have helped many clients in Rock Hill and York County find solutions that have protected their futures.

The first step involves thoroughly examining the case and the evidence. Our attorneys are well aware that merely being arrested or issued a citation does not mean someone is guilty of that offense. Our first step always is to vigorously pursue evidence of innocent.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, the best option might be to pursue a dismissal of the charges or to request to have your child enrolled in the Alcohol Education Program. The AEP makes it possible for certain offenders to avoid jail entirely and also offers the opportunity of expunging the arrest record.

If your child is in trouble, contact us for a consultation. We’ll work with you to build a strategy geared toward the best possible outcome for your child now as well as for protecting his or her future.

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Elizabeth Smith Owen


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