Minor in Possession of Alcohol
Minors found in possession of alcohol are routinely cited in the City of Frisco. Some are immediately released to a parent or guardian. Others may be detained and taken to the City of Frisco Police Department or even the Collin County or Denton County Juvenile Detention Facilities depending on the circumstances of the police contact. If your child was cited for Minor in Possession of Alcohol, it is important that their rights are protected and that their clean criminal history remains intact.Understanding the Texas Minor in Possession Statute
The offense of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor (or “MIP”) is controlled by Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, Chapter 106. Section 106.05 prohibits persons younger than the age of 21 from possessing any alcoholic beverage. There are exceptions to this statute.
Defenses to Minor in Possession:
A minor may have a defense to this charge if the alcohol was possessed:
- in the course of their employment for a restaurant licensed to sell alcohol;
- if the minor is in the presence a parent, guardian, or spouse;
- if the minor is under the immediate supervision of a police officer and the minor is assisting the officer in the enforcement of the Alcoholic Beverage Code; or
- if the minor simply never possessed any alcohol.
These are certainly not all the defenses that are available to a minor accused of minor in possession. The defenses available in your child’s case will depend upon the circumstances involved. You should consult an experienced defense attorney to determine what defenses may be available in your case.
Penalties for Minor in Possession of Alcohol:
The offense of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor is a class c misdemeanor which may be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00. However, like many offenses under the Alcoholic Beverage Code, MIP carries additional penalties beyond those of the typical class c offense. Those penalties include:
- Alcohol Awareness Class
- Community Service Hours
- Driver’s License Suspension
Any person convicted or placed on deferred disposition will be required to attend and successfully complete an alcohol awareness program, a drug education program, or a drug and alcohol driving awareness program. The failure to timely complete the required program and provide proof to the court may result in the Court authorizing the Texas Department of Public Safety to suspend the minor’s driver’s license for up to six months.
The Court will also likely impose community service hours. Those hours typically must be drug and/or alcohol education related. The Court will generally provide information related to where those hours can be performed and how to receive credit for completion. Additionally, there are enhanced penalties for those who have prior convictions for MIP.
Expunction of Criminal Record Related to MIP
It is important to remember that unlike most criminal offenses, a conviction for Minor in Possession is subject to expunction upon the minor turning 21 years of age. If you are convicted of a single instance of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor, you may petition the Court to expunge those records upon your turning 21. Expunction of your record will allow you to legally deny the occurrence of the arrest and will clear the records related to the incident from your criminal history.Hire an Experienced Attorney
If your child has been arrested or cited for Minor In Possession (MIP), we can help. Frisco criminal defense attorney Waren Price has helped many people charged with MIP, and he can help your child as well. His goal is to get your child’s case dismissed. There is no doubt that lessons will be learned in this process. You, as a parent, will insure that this happens for your child. We want to insure that your child has the opportunity to not only learn from this experience, but to fully recover from it so that it does not follow them into an otherwise bright future.
Call Us Today for Your FREE CONSULTATION.