"MIPs" may seem common and insignificant... but the consequences could be far-reaching and long-lasting without an effective defense.
California Business and Professions Code section 25662 makes it crime for a person under age 21 to possess alcoholic beverages in any public place.
In order to convict someone, the prosecutor must prove:
- at the time of the offense, you were under 21,
- you possessed an alcoholic beverage, and
- the possession occurred in any place open to the public or on any street or highway.
Conviction can result in fines, community service hours, and informal (summary) probation.
However, being convicted of a California minor in possession of alcohol charge can also result in a one year suspension (or delay) of the defendant's license to drive. Some courts even require participation in a youth-oriented drunk driving prevention program.
Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers point out that these can be very harsh penalties for a relatively common and minor offense... especially when they're undeserved. Many California minor in possession of alcohol charges involve situations where minors were never in possession, at all. They just happened to hanging out with others who were. Law enforcement will often cite everyone present at a location where any minors have been drinking, regardless of the fact that they never saw a particular person drinking or possessing alcohol.
Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers have successfully defended California minor in possession of alcohol allegations in a variety of circumstances, both by negotiating dismissals and proving that the charge isn't true. Whatever the circumstances, we recommend that any underage person facing California minor in possession of alcohol consult an attorney before deciding how to proceed.