There is strict enforcement of underage drinking laws.
Underage alcohol possession/consumption is one of the most common criminal charges for young people in Columbus and law enforcement has little tolerance. If you are under 21 and get caught possessing/consuming alcohol, expect the law to be enforced.

There is increased police presence and strict enforcement on game days at The Ohio State University and aggressive prosecution for underage drinking offenses that occur in the homes of fraternities & sororities. Even if is your first time,  a lapse in judgment will likely become a criminal case with significant consequences.

A charge of underage drinking is typically accompanied by other charges.
This charge may also be known as; “underage alcohol consumption”, “prohibition”, “underage alcohol possession”, “underage intoxication”, “offense involving underage persons”, and “certain acts prohibited”.   If your behavior is obnoxious, you may be charged with Disorderly Conduct.  If non-cooperative, you may be charged with Resisting Arrest. If you gave fake information, you may be charged with Obstructing Official Business or Falsification.​What are the penalties for underage drinking violations?
It is classified by Ohio law as a first degree misdemeanor. The potential sentence for conviction includes a  jail term up to 6 months, a fine non-exceeding $1,000 plus court fees, community service, alcohol counseling, and probation. A conviction is a permanent, public criminal record that may influence education & employment opportunities. Since the information is public, it will typically appear in internet searches for your name.

What strategies might we use to defend you?

  1. Diversion Program: If you are accepted into a diversion program and complete it successfully, the case is dismissed without a conviction, and the records for the case can be sealed (expunged).
  2. We obtain all evidence that the prosecuting attorney intends to introduce, evaluate the strength of that evidence, and pursue potential defenses.

If a diversion program is disqualified or you choose not to participate in a diversion program, we may plead “not guilty” and begin a defense against your charges through the court process. The court process may include; pretrial hearings, hearings on motions to suppress evidence, and a trial. In all cases, we seek the best possible outcome.

Why choose Attorney Terry K Sherman to represent you?
Practicing as a criminal defense attorney exclusively for his entire career, Attorney Sherman has represented many clients (including students) that had been charged with underage drinking offenses in Ohio courts. In most cases, the underage drinking charges were reduced or dismissed, and often he was able to get the records for the case sealed (expunged).


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