MIP is strictly enforced in many states, but you may not understand these laws to the fullest extent or have questions for us. To start, what is MIP? This crime is called Minor in Possession, or laws concerning alcohol and drugs found in the possession of minors. Even if a minor was not using the substance they were possessing, they could still obtain charges. Many states strictly enforce these laws, while others will sometimes give a juvenile defendant the option of probation, diversion programs, and more.
What Could Happen
Minor in Possession laws were created as a way to teach minors about the dangers of driving drunk, help them get treatment before it turns into a bigger problem, and involve minors in community service as a way to give back to the community and teach important lessons. In California, if you have been charged with an MIP violation, you could have your driver’s license suspended for a year, which could have a huge impact on your life as a teenager if you drive to school or have an afterschool job. You do not have to be driving for this offense to take place. If you are underage and walking down the street simply holding a beer, you could be charged with MIP.
Under California’s Business and Professions Code 25662 BP, anyone under 21 is not permitted to possess an alcoholic beverage and could be found guilty under the law. A first offense could lead to as much as a fine of $250 as well as up to 36 hours of community service, and more for a second or third offense!
Defenses to These Charges
If you have been charged under MIP laws, you may wonder if you can raise a defense on your position. Here are some of the common defenses that are used:
- The container in the teen’s possession didn’t actually hold alcohol
- The alcohol was consumed in a religious service
If you or a loved one have been charged with MIP laws and need help, call us today. We have experience in many cases of juvenile defense and can help you get the results you deserve after being charged. We will review your defense position, take a look at what happened during your arrest, and more.