Stephen Wolfe Dec. 12, 2016

College is a time for studying, participating in protests, and attending the occasional party or festival. Being underage and resisting the temptation to drink with your friends at the weekend keg party can be very difficult.

Before taking your next sip of beer or trying to buy wine for ladies' night with your fake ID, there are a few things you should know about underage drinking laws in Ohio and how getting caught can affect your college career.

First, keep in mind that even if you are busted by the police for underage drinking, you do have rights and options.

You can be arrested

In Ohio, underage drinking or the purchase of alcoholic beverages while under 21 is a misdemeanor that can get you arrested. This is especially true if you are caught in the act of attempting to purchase alcohol with false identification or you are drinking in a public space.

Even if you are in a private residence, if the cops are called to break up the party, you can still receive a citation or be arrested for consuming alcohol while underage.

Your permanent record

It is possible that an underage drinking conviction can stay on your permanent record. Fortunately, you can have your arrest record "sealed" in an expungement process, especially if this is your only offense.

The arrest process

Typically, when you get arrested, you will be handcuffed and put in a quad car or van and driven to jail. You will be fingerprinted and have your mug shot taken. If you are put in a holding tank, they will pat you down and possibly take your shoes. However, you may have to change into a jail uniform before you are put into a cell with other people.

Your bail will be set and you will be given the chance to call someone to post bail for you. If you are unable to get in touch with someone that can bail you out, you will have to remain in jail, possibly overnight, until you can go before a judge to be arraigned.

You will then be released with a document detailing your charge, the arresting officer's information, and your court date.

Campus consequences

Getting caught for underage drinking is a violation of Ohio State University's Student Code of Conduct. Some of the consequences you may face include permanent or temporary expulsion from school, the loss of tuition paid, and possible fines.

Underage drinking is taken very seriously and can cause problems for your future, both at school and in your chosen career. If you have been charged with underage drinking, a criminal defense attorney in the Columbus area is you r greatest ally.