Like any other profession/job, some things never change. In my practice, every summer I represent several young adults, usually recent high school graduates or college freshmen, in matters related to possession of alcohol, underage drinking, raucous house parties and procuring alcohol for minors (usually those under 21 years old at the party).
The goal of these cases is to do everything possible to avoid a criminal complaint being issued by a Clerk Magistrate if no arrest has been made. In the summer of 2005 I had about half a dozen such cases. I was successful in each case, often due to the input of very concerned parents and understanding local police officials.
I have found direct personal contact with the police officials most effective.
Helping the youth and the police understand the potential consequences of a criminal complaint issuing, particularly in light of the Federal governments recent attitude in such matters relative to denial of Federal Aid to Education Funds, College loans and assistance, even where no guilty finding enters, is crucial. Understanding the potential consequences of a court history is vital for young adults as it acts as a powerful deterrent to a repeat event.
The ability to speak directly to police officials and deal on a first-hand basis with local Clerk-Magistrates at the respective District Court often makes the difference.
In a recent case I spoke to the town police chief at length on such a matter explaining the solid, positive background of not only my client, but that of the several other young men involved. Gathering such information ahead of time, knowing what to emphasize and communicate made the difference. Mobilizing the involved parents to take a firm stand in support of home based discipline and community service participation by the youths was a key element in this case and the others. The police were very supportive of my position/suggestion to the local Clerk-Magistrate to withhold a Complaint in lieu of community service and a commitment by the youths to remain trouble-free or risk a complaint issuing.
Credibility built up over years of contact and a reputation for an honest, practical experienced approach is the cornerstone of my practice in these matters. It also helps to have a family of five siblings with many nephews and nieces to foster an understanding of the traumatic effect an event like this brings to the entire family.