Defending Against Criminal Charges When a Graduation Celebration Goes too Far

The month of May is an exciting time for many young people and their family and friends.  Graduation ceremonies and celebrations, whether for high school, college, graduate, or professional school, are filled with fun, festivities, and food. After all the years of hard work to earn a degree, a little celebrating is certainly in order. Sometimes, however, the merrymaking can go too far. When this happens, alcohol is commonly involved, and criminal charges may follow.  Drinking and driving, property damage, disorderly conduct, and unlawful physical altercations are among the most common occurrences this time of year.  

First, in the aftermath, is the profound embarrassment – spoiling a nice celebration with a messy scene, police involvement, and criminal charges, all in front of your friends and family. It is truly a nightmare scenario – especially at the very moment you are marking as a transition from hard work and accomplishment to new successes. Ultimately, though, embarrassment will be the least of your problems. Depending on the specific criminal charges, you may face fines, community service, and even jail time – penalties that can impede or even derail your future plans. The charges will cast a shadow of your reputation, and conviction will tarnish it and potentially upend your educational or vocational aspirations. In the wake of such circumstances, and with so much at stake, you need a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights and mount the strongest possible defense against the state’s efforts to convict you.

Alcohol is a Common Factor in Celebration-Related Criminal Charges

How goes a good time go bad and lead to criminal charges? One common reason is the excessive consumption of alcohol. With multiple toasts at multiple celebrations, too much alcohol in too short a time span can be consumed, leading to drunkenness. Other times, the sense of accomplishment, good feelings, and flat-out relief can tempt one to overindulge. When these actions are combined with others like driving, serious legal consequences and even tragedies can ensue. DUI, property damage, personal injuries, and even fatalities can result. Criminal charges for DUI – especially if personal injuries were caused in accident – bring very serious penalties. The same is true for penalties for conviction of injuries inflicted in an alcohol-fueled physical altercation.  

Drinking and time with family and friends is not always a wise combination. When too much alcohol is consumed and tempers flare, assault and battery can occur. Besides the pain and regret for causing harm to a loved one, conviction for either crime brings harsh punishments, including fines, probation, mandatory anger management education, and even jail time. If your graduation celebration turned ugly and resulted in criminal charges in the state of California, you need a skilled and experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney to fight to protect your legal rights and raise the strongest possible defense against the state prosecutor’s efforts to convict you. For your future and your reputation, contact an experienced California criminal defense attorney.