Even if the police seemingly caught you red-handed, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney. While underage drinking tickets are not considered criminal offenses in Wisconsin, they still carry hefty penalties. A first offense may result in a driver’s license suspension of 30 to 90 days, and the suspension for subsequent offenses could be as long as one year. Underage drinking tickets also appear on your driving record, may impact your auto insurance rates, and could result in the loss of scholarships or other penalties from your school. Additionally, underage drinking may lead to arrests for criminal offenses such as drinking in public.
Drinking is a big part of the college culture, including at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and even the most serious of honor students can find themselves charged with underage drinking. If you find yourself in this situation, you should know that, as with any offense, you have the right to contest the charge and have the prosecution prove their case at trial. While choosing to pay the fine may seem like the simplest option, remember that there are possible consequences beyond the fine, so don’t take action without consulting with an attorney first. You may also frequently be able to have the charges dismissed or reduced by participating in various court-sponsored programs.
To discuss your options for handling an underage drinking ticket in Madison, Wisconsin, issued by either the University of Wisconsin Police or by the City of Madison Police, contact the Johnen Law Offices today.