Minor in Possession
The charge of Minor in Possession, commonly referred to as an M.I.P., is a misdemeanor offense in the U.S. Although the precise definition of what constitutes an M.I.P. can vary by state and county, in general, a person under the age of 21 who is found in possession of alcohol or is determined to have been drinking by a police officer is violating this law and is subject to arrest. Even without direct evidence, officers can act on a suspicion of M.I.P. based on a person’s behavior or appearance.
M.I.P. On College Campuses
Due to the social freedom and age bracket associated with undergraduate university life, M.I.P. is one of the most common charges in and around college campuses. Oftentimes, a minor will be found drinking in the company of friends of legal age, which can result in the further complications of a Providing Alcohol to Minors charge.
Punishments for M.I.P. Conviction
The punishments for a first-time conviction of Minor in Possession can include:
- A fine of up to $500
- A mandatory alcohol education program
- Community service
While these sorts of simple or reduced punishments are common for first-time offenders, the consequences of repeated arrests can be much more serious, with suspended driver’s licenses and jail time becoming more frequent as colleges across the country crack down on underage drinking.
Despite their prevalence in all sorts of social settings, the details of an M.I.P. charge can be complicated. Consumption of alcohol in the presence of parents or legal guardians, for instance, can affect the lawfulness of underage drinking.
If you or someone you know have been accused of Minor in Possession, it is crucial that you know your options. With over 30 years of experience in handling misdemeanor charges like M.I.P., the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. will help you navigate this situation. To learn more about how a San Jose M.I.P. lawyer can help you handle an M.I.P., call us today at (408) 296-4100.