State - South Carolina
County - Dorchester (if that matters)
Violation Section Number - 20-7-8920 (if needed)
Last night October 21, 2007 my roommate and I had a party with about 10 or 11 people over. Everything was going good but I guess it got a little to loud and out of control and around 4am the cops showed up. Stupidly the 1 person who hadn't drank anything decided it would be a good idea to answer the door, even after we all told him not to. Anyways, beer cans were everywhere so as soon as they walked in they took out their ticket books. Well long story short I got a Minior In Possession ticket because I am only 19, one cop told me I didn't need to go to court and to just pay the fine ($254.00). I have his badge number and name also, but he left after they searched and made sure there were no drugs etc. Well later a different cop told me I had to show up to court and my license would be suspended. I have a car but there was no car involved we were in my apartment and my keys wern't even in my pocket. The cops didn't FST anyone or give anyone a breathaliser. I understand underage drinking is bad but we wern't causing any harm and we deffinately were not driving. I work 9-5 Mon-Fri and I make a good living, but with my job I am required to drive more then just to and from work, I am required to drive to clients houses be it a business or a home (I am a computer technician). I make over 18 an hour and I have held the same job for almost a year now (around 10 months). I can't lose my job because they suspend my license. My other problem is although I did just say I make a good living, I have just paid for this apartment (1st last month rent plus all fees etc) and furnished this apartmet so I am low on cash as I have spent close to 3000 in the past month or so. I don't think I can afford an attorney or afford to even talk to one, or is it not as expensive as I think.
- Is there ANY way to avoid a suspension?
- How much would it cost to consult an attorny and what kind do I need?
- I read state law and it says a fine no less then $100 and no more then $200 and 90 day suspension (If its the first offense which it is), how could the officer ticket me for $250+ then?
- Should I fight the ticket or just plead guilty?
- They never checked to see if I was actually intoxicated and I was sleeping in my room when the cops came and woke me up could I not just say I had no idea what was going on?
Sorry for so many questions and such a long thread but I really really really want to avoid getting my license suspended I -WILL- lose my job and I have worked long and hard to be 19 and make the living I do.