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Be mindful of all laws when out clubbing with friends

For university students and college-age young adults, going clubbing in Southern California hot nightspots is a treasured rite of passage. There is also no doubt that youthful energy and exuberance can be a beautiful sight to behold.

But while there is nothing inherently wrong with club-hopping with a posse of friends, it's possible to land yourself in legal hot water while doing so.

Long-term consequences of bad decisions

It can be difficult to foresee all of the potential repercussions of an arrest and conviction stemming from bad decisions made on a night out on the town with friends. But the fact remains that, depending upon your career aspirations, convictions (and in some cases even arrests) can be permanent door-closers.

That's definitely something you don't want to encounter before you have even begun your career trajectory.

Red flags of risky behaviors

Often, the first transgression is flouting the state's underage drinking laws. Considering that no one under the age of 21 is permitted to consume alcohol in California except for in very limited and specific situations, it's easy to get arrested on violating the drinking age laws.

Even if you are north of 21, if you are intoxicated in the club or on your way to and from it, you could face a misdemeanor arrest for disorderly conduct under California Penal Code - PEN § 647, Section (f), which applies to anyone:

. . . found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance, or toluene, in a condition that [they are] . . . unable to exercise care for [their] own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of [their] being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.

California has strict DUI laws

Both of the aforementioned violations can get you into trouble, but your woes really begin to mount if you rack up one or more DUI charge. Our state has serious penalties for convictions for driving under the influence, which should be avoided at all costs.

It's important to understand that an arrest does not automatically indicate a conviction is a foregone conclusion. Each case must be reviewed and assessed individually, with all options evaluated by a qualified and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, for the best possible outcome.

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