Unless it is within the scope of their employment, those who are under the age of 21 may not possess alcohol in the state of Florida. It may also be legal for those who are 18 or older to sip alcohol if it is required for educational purposes. However, the alcohol itself must remain in the possession of someone who is 21 years or older. Those who are caught violating the law may be charged with a second degree misdemeanor if it is their first offense.
People under the age of 21 who have prior convictions for possessing alcohol illegally may be subject to a first degree misdemeanor charge. It may be possible for someone under 21 who is convicted of such a charge to lose his or her driver's license. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may also be instructed to not issue a license to those who may be about to receive one.
Those who engage in underage drinking may put themselves in legal danger as well as jeopardize future educational or employment opportunities. If a minor is charged with being in possession of alcohol, it may be taken into consideration when that person applies to college. It should also be noted that hiring an attorney may cost thousands of dollars, which may make it harder to pay for school.
However, an attorney may be able to get a case dismissed or otherwise resolved in a favorable manner. In some cases, a plea deal may allow an individual to have a charge dropped or dismissed after completing an alcohol program. Charges may also be dropped or dismissed if an attorney successfully has evidence suppressed. Casting doubt on physical evidence or witness testimony may result in an acquittal if a case does go to trial.