Can I go to jail for letting minors drink at my house? 40 Answers as of June 11, 2013

A few weeks ago I let my sister and her friends come to my house to drink so that wouldn't be out drinking and driving or get hurt. One of the girls has now said she was raped by a guy that was there. There is now an investigation going on, and was told that I could get in trouble for letting the minors be at my house drinking. I didnt provide that alcohol. Can I really go to jail for letting them be at my house?

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LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
You could possibly go to jail since your house was used to serve minors and a rape occurred there. I would suggest contacting a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/27/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I would recommend that you retain an attorney to assist you with this matter. If the police contact you and ask you to discuss what happened, what you say could also be used against you if they decided to charge you with anything. If you are ever ultimately charged, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This response does not contain specific legal advice. If you would like specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, please consult directly with an attorney. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. Speaking in general terms, assuming the prosecutor has enough evidence to bring the charges in good faith, adults who furnish alcohol to minors or adults who create an environment where minors are drinking could be charged with, a minimum, a misdemeanor such as contributing to the delinquency of minor, or other types of offenses. Anyone charged is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I would recommend you retain an attorney to assist with this matter.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/20/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
Although it is a crime to serve alcohol to minors or to allow them to drink in your home, the DA is likely to dismiss the charges or reduce them to a Disorderly Conduct. You will almost never do jail time for any first offense that was associated with a misdemeanor or a violation.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/16/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Perhaps. You should hire an attorney. You should not talk to cops. Cops have theories. Their investigation is to support that theory.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
Technically you could be sentenced to jail for allowing them to drink at your house , but probably unlikely- you may just be fin ed depending on the exact charges. However, the more serious situation is the rape ( if in fact there was one ) because then you could be charged with negligent supervision among other charges and then jail is a possibility. If you are charged with anything you should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/12/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    You can be charged with Contributing To The Delinquencing of a Minor. That would be a Misdemeanor and probably would not require a jail sentence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Dearbonn Law Offices
    Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
    Absolutely. You will be adjudged completely negligent for serving minors alcohol. If they had committed a crime or got in to an accident as a result, you will be the *proximate cause* of their breaking any laws while been drunk from your house.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes, if charged with any of the crimes that conduct would fit. Youll learn the actual charge[s] filed against you if you are arrested, when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing.

    What can you do? Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to not talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    An adult can be charged with unlawfully "hosting" a minor who consumes alcohol with the knowledge of the adult in his home. This type of charge can result in jail time, depending upon the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    I would highly recommend contacting an attorney as soon as possible. Yes there is potential criminal liability and you need proper representation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    If you supplied the alcohol, you can get in trouble for giving alcohol to minors. I don't think you will be criminally responsible for crimes (rape) that may have occurred when these teens were drunk.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
    You could potentially be charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors. Even though you did not supply the alcohol, you provided the place for them to consume the alcohol. If you have no prior record, I do not believe you will be looking at any jail time. However, you may have opened yourself up for a civil law suit by the girl that is claiming to have been raped. Good Luck with your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    Yes, it is a misdemeanor and you could get sentenced up to six months. You should definitely talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police since this is serious. It could lead to civil liability as well.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    As the home-owner, you can be held responsible for any activity that occurs on the premises with your knowledge (constructive knowledge and actual knowledge) and consent. I would advise you to seek legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You could be prosecuted for allowing minors to drink in your house, but seriously doubt that you would be facing jail time. I assume you are the owner of the house, not a child of the owner, and that you have no prior contact with the police. I would imagine the investigation is directed more at the alleged rape, and the person involved in that matter, as it is unusual to investigate home owners, unless one of the kids present was involved in a DUI. In any case, if charged, you should hire an attorney to represent you in court.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Unfortunately, yes, you could be in a good deal of trouble in this case because of the severity of the charges of rape. It will depend upon a lot of things, but you have a serious matter on your hands that needs the attention of an experienced attorney to assist you. Consult with one right away. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes, you need to immediately hire a lawyer to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Yes, you can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possibly other charges if the police think you knew what was going on or otherwise aided in unlawful activity at the house even if you weren't there at the time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. You may charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    If minors were provided alcohol at your home, and even if there is only a question as to whether you provided same, you can be arrested. The charge may be a felony charge for having an underage house party. There could also be a misdemeanor charge for furnishing alcohol to a minor. There is huge civil liability as well for underage minor drinking at your home as well as the allegation that an underage female was raped at your home.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Yes you can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    The short answer is "yes." You can be criminally charged for allowing a minor to drink at your house. You could also be sued in a civil suit. Whether or not you provide the alcohol is not relevant. If you let it happen, you can be criminally or civilly responsible. You could go to jail and you could be forced to pay a civil judgment. I hope this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Judin & Rogers
    Judin & Rogers | Hank Judin
    Simple answer is yes. Providing alcohol to a minor is an arrestable offense.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Yes, because you face potential legal problems, I would recommend that you retain an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. Not only are there possible criminal charges, such as contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and furnishing alcohol to a minor, but also there is potential civil lawsuit exposure. Therefore, I encourage you to see a lawyer ASAP. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law | Tracy L. Henderson
    I would wait to see what the district attorney charges. They may charge you with promoting the delinquency of a minor but jail is not necessarily likely. If convicted, which is a big if at this point, you could do community service or home confinement. If you are charged, contact an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    You can be arrested and prosecuted for allowing minors to drink at your residence, whether you go to jail depends upon the disposition of the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Yes, providing alcohol to minors means that you could be charged with a misdemeanor and if brought as a class A you could be sentenced to jail. The scenario that you describe would be covered as you are allowing minors to consume alcohol, even though you did not purchase it. It is important that you not discuss the case with anyone other than a defense lawyer. Do not make a statement to the police.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You can and will go to jail for letting minors drink at your house. The only exception is if the minor is your own kid. You never want to admit this type of conduct, because you will go to jail. In the majority of cases that are prosecuted the person admits. Cops will generally not believe a minor who has been drinking, about where they got the booze, but they will request to talk with you if your name is given out. You have an absolute right to refuse to answer any question and the best advice is to tell them you don't want to talk to them. If the cop persist then ask if your under arrest and if not walk away. If they say your under arrest then tell them you want an attorney and that you want to exercise your right to remain silent. You never commit a crime by refusing to speak with a cop!
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Yes, you can go to jail. The charge would probably be contributing to the delinquency of minors.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes, It is called contributing to the delinquency of a minor. You cannot allow folks into your home to shoot porn, cook drugs, drink alcohol, and then protest that you did not know what was going on. I suspect you need an attorney. See my website.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You can in some states. You should talk to a local attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    Yes. You should contact an attorney right away. Please e-mail me directly.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You could go to jail theoretically for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. It is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. Probation is also an option. If it is determined that an underage girl was assaulted at your place and they can prove that you were negligent somehow in permitting such activity, the parents could sue you civilly and hold your responsible as well. I would suggest retaining an experienced criminal attorney as soon as you are charged with anything.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Yes, and you might face possible civil financial liability, too. Consult an experienced, local Criminal Defense Attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Say nothing else to anyone but your lawyer! Get a lawyer immediately, and do not talk to the police! These posts are anonymous on my end which is good. If you don't have a good attorney you trust, find one by Monday. Don't admit to anyone that you had any knowledge. I am not saying lie. I am saying do not talk.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    Yes you can. Providing minors with a place to drink, despite the best of motives is a criminal offense. Furthermore, the allegation of a crime being committed on the premises may draw you into a serious legal morass. Advice: Hire a lawyer immediately, and do not speak to the police until you have legal representation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Without going into great detail- contributing to the delinquency of a minor; alcohol to minors; rape on your premises; etc.. This is serious. You need an attorney. Call me!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    It is a very serious matter and you should participate in any investigation or say anything to anyone but your own hired attorney. I would be happy to discuss things with you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2011
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