Consequences for Drug Charges
The last thing any young adult or parent wants is for a drug or alcohol charge to sidetrack a person's education, to make it difficult to pursue a career of one's choosing, or to be burdened with a criminal record throughout life. We work hard to minimize the impact of arrests and criminal charges so that a young person's future presents opportunities, not the stigma of a criminal conviction. Our lawyers counsel clients on the potential impact of their charges, and can often use alternative sentencing and diversion to the benefit of our younger clients.
Student Loans and Scholarships and Youth Operators
A person under age 21 can lose his or her license or federal financial aid (FAFSA funding) for any drug-related offense, regardless of whether a motor vehicle was involved. Depending on the charge, a license loss can be mandatory.
Effective September 16, 2017, possession of 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana or less is no longer a misdemeanor (i.e, a criminal offense); however, possession is still illegal and is punishable by a fine, and, if under age 21, a possible loss of license. Even though possession of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense under state law, it is still a crime under federal law. This means that federal financial aid may be suspended or discontinued for any drug conviction, even possession of small amounts of marijuana.
For these reasons, what offense the prosecutor charges, and what sentence the judge imposes, can often be critical factors in determining the amount of the fine, whether there will be a loss of license, or whether there will be other collateral consequences such as the loss of scholarship or financial aid. An experienced lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to change the charge or convince a judge not to impose a loss of license.
Under Age 21 Alcohol & Drug Penalties
In New Hampshire, any person who is not yet 21, who is convicted of "any offense involving the sale, possession, use, or abuse of alcohol" may have his or her license suspended, revoked or denied. Additionally, college students charged with certain offenses may face sanctions, including eviction from student housing or expulsion.
If you are under 21 and charged with Driving While Intoxicated or Under the Influence, click here: NH DWI Penalties - Under Age 21.
A license loss can also result from:
- Intoxication ("internal possession" or unlawful possession of alcohol)
- Using a Fake ID
- Attempting to Purchase Alcohol
- Transporting Alcohol (even closed containers)
- Open Container violations
Fines & Penalties for Alcohol Charges
If you are under 21, you could lose your license for 90 days or more for a first alcohol or drug offense, and from 6 months to 2 years for a subsequent offense.
Even if you do not hold a New Hampshire license, many states will honor a license revocation or suspension issued by the NH DMV.
There can also be significant fines.
We Can Help
If you are a student or young adult, or the parent of someone who is under 21 and has been charged with an underage DWI or any other alcohol or drug related offense, give us a call. We routinely appear in the state courts where these offenses are charged and are experienced in handling these types of cases.
Inquiries sent to firstname.lastname@example.org are typically answered within 24 hours.