Q: Last night I received an underage at a party with some friends. I’m 20 and have never been in trouble before. I’ve never even gotten a traffic citation. I recently was kicked out of my house and live in emergency housing at my school with no car and no income. I know I will need a lawyer to plead not guilty but also know I cannot afford one. What are my best options? (Millvale, PA)
A: There is a first-time offenders program offered by most District Justices which allows this charge to be withdrawn if the minor completes a program. I doubt if you can obtain a Public Defender as you charged with a summary offense. You may also have a defense to this if there are no witnesses who saw you consume, possess, transport or purchase alcohol. However, you will have a better chance if you have an attorney present that defense. Be aware that if you plead guilty to this, your driver’s license will be suspended.