A serious criminal offense, such as a drug-related crime or driving under the influence (DUI), requires a tough lawyer and a pretty good defense. Actually, the fact is any type of criminal accusation, even a simple case of misdemeanor, calls for a good defense lawyer.

Legal professionals know how a criminal record, regardless of how serious the crime is, can be a huge hindrance to life’s opportunities and pursuit of one’s dreams. A mere criminal charge can have serious effects on every aspect” of life; it can result to loss of job, denial in employment applications, and difficulty in finding an apartment to live in, as well as when applying for professional licenses. This is because employers, landlords and license providers always ask about possible criminal convictions or can access public registries to check possible criminal record.

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, a law that was passed in 1984, is one example of a federal mandate that constitutes a criminal offense if violated. This law strictly prohibits the possession and purchase of alcoholic beverages in public by individuals under the age of 21, except under certain circumstances. Those who will be caught violating this law will be charged either with , or Minor in Possession (MIP).

Punishment for violators of PAULA or MIP differs from one state to another. For first time offenders, so long as the offense does not involve DUI / DWI or public intoxication, fines may range from $100 to $200. Repeat offenders can suffer fines, besides participation in an alcohol education program or rendering of community service. Other states also apply a suspension on the offender’s driving privileges.

As explained in the website of the law firm Truslow and Truslow, no matter the offense, criminal charges at any level should be taken seriously . Though PAULA or MIP may only be a misdemeanor, it can stick on one’s records, and affect his/her future life. Hoping to be acquitted from the charge, or in the event of a conviction, working to have such conviction expunged from your record, can be possible, but only with the help of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer.