Individuals under 21 in the state of California have to follow strict regulations regarding the usage of alcohol. These individuals cannot purchase or legally drink alcohol. They can even face criminal charges for driving in a vehicle that contains alcohol.
California Vehicle Code Section 23224: Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle by a Person Under 21 can result in harsh penalties. Find out more about VC 23224 charges with this article. The Simmrin Law Group can even help you go over:
- The Results of a VC 23224 Conviction.
- Possible Legal Defenses for VC 23224 Charges.
Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle by a Person Under 21: Legal Definition
According to VC 23224, individuals under 21 may face criminal charges if they are a driver or a passenger in a vehicle that contains an alcoholic beverage. Note that individuals should not face this charge if they are driving with:
- Their Parent or Legal Guardian.
- A Responsible Adult Relative.
- An Adult Designated by Their Parent.
Additionally, drivers under 21 who are following the instructions of any of the above individuals, even if the individuals are not driving with them, should not be prosecuted under VC 23224. Finally, drivers under 21 who are working during regular hours as an employee of a licensee under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act are also exempt from VC 23224 charges.
Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle by a Person Under 21: Penalties
Individuals who are convicted under VC 23224 may face the following penalties in the state of California:
- Jail Time of Up to Six Months.
- Fines of Up to $1,000.
- Driver’s License Suspension of One Year.
The court system can also impound a driver’s vehicle for up to thirty days following a VC 23224 conviction.
Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle by a Person Under 21: Similar Charges
VC 23224 is treated very similar to charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in California. All of these charges can lead to fines, jail time, and a driver’s license suspension. All of the following charges are used to prosecute DUIs in the state of California:
- California Vehicle Code Section 23136: Under 21 DUI with Any Measurable Amount of Alcohol.
- California Vehicle Code Section 23140: Under 21 DUI With Blood Alcohol Content Between 0.05-0.07 Percent.
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a): Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol.
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b): Driving With A Blood Alcohol Content Of 0.08 Percent Or Higher.
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(c): Driving While Addicted.
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(d): Driving a Commercial Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.04 Percent or Higher.
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f): Driving Under the Influence of Drugs.
A DUI lawyer can help you go over the specific applications of different DUI charges. You should be aware that many of these charges are considered priorable, with the penalties increasing each time a driver is convicted. DUIs can be especially serious is someone is injured by an impaired driver.
Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle by a Person Under 21: Legal Defenses
VC 23224 charges can have a serious impact on your life. Make sure you’re ready to stand up to these charges by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible after an arrest. A lawyer can go over all aspects of your case. Your lawyer could be able to help you by demonstrating that:
You Were Driving with a Responsible Adult
As we mentioned earlier, individuals under 21 may drive or ride in a vehicle containing alcohol if they are accompanied by certain responsible adults. An individual under 21 could also deal with VC 23224 charges by demonstrating that they were following the instructions of a responsible adult party.
You Were Unaware There Was Alcohol in the Vehicle
Generally, VC 23224 charges should only apply if you were aware that there was alcohol in the vehicle you were driving or riding in. If someone else in the vehicle brought along alcohol without informing you, you could avoid a VC 23224 conviction.
Deal with VC 23224 Charges by Contacting Legal Professionals Now
Make sure you’re ready to take on California Vehicle Code Section 23224: Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle by a Person Under 21 charges by getting legal help today. You can call 310-997-4688 to reach the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group. You can even complete our online contact form to get a FREE consultation.
Speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles now to start building a strong defense.