Social Gathering Charges Do Not Have a Diversion Program and Some Judges Are Giving Jail Time…Know Your Rights!
Social Gathering, MCL 750.141a, is an offense that law enforcement and prosecutors are wielding to curb underage drinking. You need to be aware of the penalties associated with this charge and that in at least one county, Ottawa County – Hudsonville location, the judge is ordering kids to jail for up to 10 days for pleading guilty to hosting a social gathering.
The statute for this charge is very complicated and more and more of these cases, especially college students at GVSU, will need to take these cases to trial to avoid jail time. There are defenses to the charge and minors who are tenants in houses, apartments, or other places where there are parties need to know their rights and what the statute requires.
For instance, did you know that if there is a party being conducted in your house and you are asleep in your room and have no knowledge of it that you are PRESUMED to have knowledge of the party by the statute! This is a presumption that you will have to rebut in court with PROOF! In addition, the statute places a duty on the tenant to take affirmative action to stop the consumption of alcohol and then to call the police!
The other potential problem is that the police may tell you that they are not “charging” you with social gathering but they do not decide what gets charged. The prosecuting attorneys decide whether or not to authorize charges for social gathering after reviewing the police report, which most often times lists the tenants of the house or apartment. Do not go to court unprepared to deal with these charges!
Contact Attorney Ray Purdy today for a FREE social gathering and MIP consultation at (616) 502-1646