Minor in Possession

San Antonio, TX Minor in Possession (MIP) Lawyer

Young people under the age of 21 can face MIP charges even if they are not drinking alcohol. In fact, they need only be present where alcohol is visible to face these charges. Some of the types of incidents include:

  • Holding a friend’s drink while they retrieve their wallet
  • Being present where there is a pitcher of beer
  • Being in a vehicle where there is alcohol
  • Clearing a table where friends were consuming drinks

These types of incidents are known as constructive possession of alcohol and can result in a minor being charged with possession of alcohol.

Defending Against MIP Charges

There are some situations which may offer a simple defense to possession of alcohol charges for a minor. For example, minors may be working at an establishment where alcohol is served. In these cases, the minor’s defense would be the handling of empty containers was part of their job. Another good example is a minor being in a facility serving alcohol but being with their parent or legal guardian, the law does allow for this and therefore the charges could potentially be dismissed. There are other instances where it may be easy to mount a defense for a charge of minor in possession of alcohol, it is a good idea to speak with a MIP attorney in Texas if your child is facing these charges.

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Don’t let an MIP charge jeopordize your future.

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Having a criminal record can reduce your chance of getting a job offer by 50%.1  Expunging your record can help you get the job you deserve, the home you want to rent, or the education you seek. Find out if you’re eligible to have your record expunged by calling us our taking our free online eligibility test.

1. Binyamin Applebaum. Out of Trouble, but Criminal Records Keep Men Out of Work, NYTimes.com, February 28, 2015.

Options for Pleading with MIP Charges

As with any other charges, you may plead guilty, or not guilty. In most cases, if there is no suitable defense, it may be worth pleading no contest. Pleading no contest would allow you to request a hearing to assess punishment allowing your criminal defense attorney to request Deferred Disposition.

Deferred Disposition works like probation, you may have to attend alcohol counseling courses, participate in community service, and may have to pay a fine. At the end, your guilty plea would be withdrawn and your record would include the notation there was no conviction of the charge. This would allow you to have your record sealed, or expunged.

Penalties Associated With MIP Charges

Penalties for MIP charges are not to be taken lightly. For a minor who has an existing driver’s license, they will face possible suspension of their right to drive for a period of 30 days. If the minor has no license, they may be prohibited from applying for a license for at least 30 days. Violators may also be required to provide community service ranging from 8 to 12 hours, and attend a Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse approved alcohol education course. The penalties for a second, or third charge are far more serious.

MIP and Criminal Records

Parents and students who have been charged with MIP should be aware even if their case is dismissed, or the young person has completed Deferred Disposition, they still have a criminal record. It is important to take the necessary steps to have the record expunged so this mistake does not follow you when applying for college loans, finding a job, or finding housing.

Parents of minors facing MIP charges or have a minor who successfully completed Deferred Disposition and need help expunging or sealing the minor’s criminal record should contact our office for help. We can help mount a defense, fight hard to gain a Deferred Disposition, or help expunge a settled MIP charge.

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