Someone recently asked me (Randy Ivie) if I thought, given all the distractions of drugs and alcohol, it was harder to be a college age student now than when I was that age. The person who asked the question is just as old as I am, and apparently assumes that alcohol and illicit drugs are more readily available today than might have been true in the past.
While I disagree with that premise, I do think that society has adopted a stricter attitude towards underage drinking and the use of illegal substances, an attitude that I believe is reflected in stricter laws and enforcement of those laws. What might have brought a mere warning by police in my day is more likely to result in formal charges today.
That is not to say that the law has not made some allowances for youthful indiscretions. It’s just that the allowances are to be found through the courts and not on the side of the road or at a local party.
For example, most counties in North Carolina allow first time misdemeanor offenses to be dismissed through the execution of a deferred prosecution contract. Under such an agreement, an offender commits to community service, and, in exchange, the district attorney dismisses the charge or charges.
We are experienced in negotiating the terms of deferred prosecution including the number of hours that must be served and the cost of participating in such a program.
Yet, even with deferred prosecution, it’s not the same as when I was underage – when an officer would likely confiscate the contraband and let the offender go with a warning. Today, consequences of underage drinking and illicit drug use remain even after the charges are dismissed, because the charge itself remains on one’s criminal record.
If you want to remove all traces of a misdemeanor charge associated with underage drinking or illicit drug use, you have to have the charge expunged. Only then can you not be held guilty of perjury or of giving a false response to graduate schools or employers that inquire about the criminal charge.
Another thing is different now. Graduate schools, employers, agencies, licensing boards, and courts have a greater access to your records and are more likely to consider charges, even without convictions, as important when deciding who to admit, hire or certify.
We are experienced in removing the record of dismissed charges from your permanent record so that you will not have to lie about the charge or worry that someone will find out about it.
Contact Sanders Law Firm 336-724-4707 to handle your deferred prosecution or the expunction of dismissed charges associated with underage drinking or use of illicit drugs. North Carolina.
Your future is worth the investment! Randy Ivie