Criminal and Civil Consequences for Teen Drinking Parties

Underage Parties with Alcohol Consumption

For years parents have had concerns regarding underage drinking parties and the consequences for both the teenager and the adult. Westchester County has had high profile criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits that have stemmed from underage drinking parties.

Criminal Liabilities

Several types of arrests stem from underage drinking parties. These include the consumption of alcohol by a minor, providing alcohol to a minor, endangering the welfare of a child and/or unlawfully dealing with a child. What can easily complicate matters is when a teen drinking party leads to a DWI charge, drug charges and/or a fight between individuals induced by alcohol. In some rare instances these underage drinking parties have resulted in serious injury or death.

The most important aspect of any teen drinking party is to contact a lawyer to determine the best criminal defense for any criminal charges to protect the teenager and/or parents from criminal liability that can have long lasting consequences.

Andrew Proto, defended a parent in the Croton on Hudson Justice Court who's son had a few friends over that resulted in an uninvited full blown house party. The parent was charged with a crime for allowing the party to take place in the home but through an aggressive criminal defense the parent avoided any criminal liability.

Andrew Proto, again defended a teenager in the Greenburgh Justice Court who had participated in an underage alcohol party. The charges were ultimately dismissed and the teenager was able to avoid any penalties that could jeopardize his future.

Civil Liability

In addition to criminal penalties teen drinking parties can result in extensive civil litigation based upon injury or death. Not only must an attorney have an understanding of the criminal aspect of the case but must also be able to advise and defend against a civil action.

In Westchester County Supreme Court a teenager, who after an underage drinking party, engaged in a fight with another individual. The teenager hit the individual with a baseball bat on the left side of his head causing blindness to the eye.

The teenager's liability was limited but there was still an award for the injury, pain and suffering. An award based upon an intentional act by a court can not be discharged in bankruptcy and the judgment will follow the individual for 20 years.

In some situations a home owners insurance policy will protect a defendant in a civil lawsuit but in many instances insurance companies will disclaim coverage because many of these actions are intentional and not based in negligence. Insurance companies may not even provide a defense. Hiring an aggressive knowledgeable attorney is essential to protection your rights.

CPS and Family Court

A further consequence of an underage drinking party is that the adult may be subject to a CPS report and/or a Family Court neglect proceeding. Both situations carry long lasting consequences and consultation with an attorney is very important.

The best time to hire an attorney is after the first contact from CPS not after their investigation has concluded. A lawyer can advise regarding how to deal with a CPS investigation and can speak to the County Attorney on your behalf.

In addition the best time to hire an attorney in a Family Court action is as soon as one is aware of a proceeding.