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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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While common, underage drinking is a crime

With the legal drinking age in the U.S. being 21 — which is higher than most other developed counties — many end up drinking alcohol before being legally old enough to. Whether it is high school kids sneaking their parents’ liquor or college students getting a fake ID to go out drinking with their friends, it is certainly not unheard of for those under the age of 21 to experiment with drinking alcohol.

However, even though it may seem like something that almost everyone does, it is important to remember that underage drinking is still illegal and getting caught carries with it serious consequences.

Recently the BBC News reported on the fact that in the U.S., getting a fake ID is like an American rite of passage. In many ways, people equate the college experience with going out and drinking. There are even movies glorifying the college party days, including adventures with a fake ID.

There have also been some rather well-known arrests involving those attempting to drink underage, including when Jenna Bush was caught using a fake ID when he father was president.

Due to the fact that so many try and get away with having a fake ID, New York state recently unveiling of a new driver’s license that is meant to be impossible to reproduce. The ID itself has an image that basically floats in a transparent window. This image somehow makes it harder to replicate. If it proves true that it is hard to make these types of IDs into fakes, other states — including New Jersey — could end up issuing similar licenses.

For now, when it comes to fake IDs and underage drinking, most college kids go about it innocently enough. These are not hardened criminals, but rather teenagers who are doing what they think most college kids do. Most probably don’t even realize how serious the consequences of getting caught by police can be.

However, given the fact that underage drinking is illegal, whether it is a minor consumption charge or getting caught using a fake ID, it is always a good idea to contact a criminal defense attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.

Source: BBC News, “Why fake ID is an American rite of passage,” Jon Kelly, April 7, 2013

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