What Happens When Police Break Up a Party? - Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyers
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What Happens When the Police Break Up a Party?

House parties are common this time of the year with kids out of school and many college students back at their parents’ for the summer. Social media makes it easy for teens to find out about these events and small gatherings can quickly turn into huge, out-of-control parties. Often times the police get noise complaints from neighbors and end up coming to the house to break-up the party. There can be serious consequences if police find out that people under the age of 21 are drinking.

What Do Police Do When They Bust a Party?

Here’s what police do when they bust a party. Police will come to the door and ask to talk to the owner about complaints about a party, you have the right to decline their entry without a warrant. However, if they have reasonable cause to suspect that illegal activities are happening, they may be able to enter without a warrant. Generally, if there are drunk teenagers outside, they have enough cause. Remember to be respectful when speaking to the police.

Once police have entered a house to actually break up an underage party, they will check IDs and arrest people drinking underage or using/possessing drugs. The owner of the house often will be questioned and may be held responsible for any illegal activities. Even if the party was held without the owner’s knowledge, they may be held liable.

Many people will be tempted to flee a party being busted by police, but if you are caught, penalties for any illegal activity will be worse, because you will have evaded police custody. You are never required to speak to police without a lawyer present, but running from the police will only make things worse. Just remain silent, and only provide basic information such as your name and address, then wait to be dismissed or taken into custody.

What Are the Consequences of Throwing a House Party?

Here’s the consequences of throwing a house party. The most obvious consequences for a house party if it’s an underage party will be any individual arrests for underage drinking or illegal drug use. However, there are many other penalties that most partiers don’t consider.

Parents or legal drinkers who are caught supplying alcohol, even inadvertently, to minors face serious criminal liabilities. It is illegal to give alcohol to underage people and minors. Even simply allowing them to enter a private party where alcohol is consumed can make parents responsible if they don’t have measures in place to prevent underage attendees from accessing alcohol.

Even if the owner of the house was unaware that their child was throwing a party and drinking alcohol, they can be held responsible for not preventing illegal activity. In some states, parents are subject to serious financial consequences, including fines and restitution to victims in the event that illegal activities at the party lead to accidents. Furthermore, they can be charged in the criminal courts for contributing to the delinquency of a minor or other similar charges.

Another important thing to remember is that “borrowing” an empty or abandoned building for a big party is illegal and may lead to trespassing charges. Also, felony charges including burglary may be filed if anything is taken or damaged during the party.

What Happens if a Party Gets Busted But You’re Not drinking

Here’s what happens if a party gets busted but you’re not drinking. It really depends on the particular police that come into contact with you on that night. Unfortunately, they do not have to give you a breathalyzer test but they can still file charges if they just suspect that you have been drinking. But the main thing to remember is that if you haven’t been drinking than you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Be confident, and proud of the fact that you took the responsibility to make a decision to be sober.

With teenagers constantly checking social media, it is never safe to assume that an illegal party will stay a secret. If you or your child are charged with a crime in relation to an underage party you should hire an attorney immediately. Contact Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers Mike Worgul and Samir Sarna at (412) 281-2146 any time to discuss your specific situation further.

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