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The Alcohol Education Program in Columbia

Diversion Program for First-Time Offenders in Columbia

Most juveniles who are arrested for crimes are not hardened criminals, but are merely youths who have made mistakes or committed acts of indiscretion. Unfortunately, the consequences of a conviction can have a devastating effect on the individual's future, as a criminal record can result in disqualification for a scholarship, expulsion from a school or university and even difficulties in finding suitable employment. If your child has been charged with an alcohol related crime in Columbia and has not previously been convicted, it may be possible to take advantage of the Alcohol Education Program provided by the Richland County Solicitor.

Determining Eligibility for the AEP

To qualify for the program, your child must be between the ages of 17 and 20 years old, and must have been charged with one of the following crimes:

Individuals who have already completed the AEP are not eligible, nor are those who have been charged with DUI.

The program consists of an eight hour alcohol awareness class, as well as serving a total of thirty hours of community service which does not include hours completed prior to enrollment. The current charge for the program is $350. In addition to preventing harsh criminal penalties including time in jail, completion of the program will result in expungement of your child's arrest record, so that your child's future will not be tainted by a criminal record. This form of pre-trial intervention essentially gives a juvenile offender a second chance, and it focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment, but not everyone is approved for participation.

Contact us now at Masella Law Firm, P.A. to learn more about actions we can take to help your child take advantage of this program.

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