More charges filed after alleged Raleigh underage drinking party
Criminal charges continue to flow from allegations of a Raleigh underage drinking party. Three more people have been charged with underage drinking-related charges in the aftermath of the investigation into the recent fatal car accident that occurred after two people allegedly attended the high school party in Raleigh. This blog reported stories of the accident and a subsequent arrest of a Raleigh man on aiding and abetting underage drinking charges.
Wednesday, state officials brought charges against three more people related to the alleged underage drinking party. An 18-year-old Raleigh woman is accused of hosting the alleged party on Jan. 6. She is now facing two counts of aiding and abetting.
A 17-year-old woman has been charged with underage purchase of liquor. Like any criminal charges in North Carolina brought against a person age 16 or older, the charges are filed in adult court. A juvenile petition has also been filed in relation to the same investigation. Authorities say a 15-year-old will face a charge of underage purchase of spirituous liquor in the North Carolina juvenile system.
The new charges highlight that North Carolina law has broad shoulders in the area of underage drinking. The most recent round of charges is linked to the Jan. 7 fatal accident that allegedly involved alcohol.
None of the more recent charges include allegations that any of the people accused were present at the time of the Jan. 7 accident. An Agent with the North Carolina Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement says, “You don’t always (even) have to be present,” to face charges on underage drinking allegations.
For students age 16 or more, the charges are filed in adult court in North Carolina, which can lead to a permanent criminal record, if a conviction ultimately results from the charges. Greenville underage drinking defense attorneys note that a criminal record can have long-term adverse collateral consequences.
Increasingly, companies conduct criminal background checks during the application process; schools of high education are also increasing background checks.
It is important for any charged with a crime in North Carolina to consider speaking with an experienced defense attorney before appearing in court, or paying a drinking ticket. Paying the ticket is the equivalent to pleading guilty and the conviction is recorded on the defendant’s record.
Source: WRAL, “Host of underage party charged after student’s death,” Jan. 25, 2012