Have you ever wondered whether your minor child has had access to alcohol when you weren’t around? It could happen at a friend’s house or at some event or social gathering, and you may not even know. Unfortunately, it happens, and when it does, the minor involved could be facing some serious consequences. At Deputy & Mizell, our MIP lawyers in Mid-Missouri are knowledgeable about what a Minor in Possession charge at the Lake of the Ozarks can mean to your minor and the punishment he or she could face for the crime. We wanted to share some things to think about and share with your minor child in today’s blog to let you know we are here for you if you unexpectedly find yourself and your minor in this position. MIP Defined. When it comes to MIP (Minor in Possession) charges, a minor is anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 years. A minor can be charged with the criminal misdemeanor of MIP if they are in physical possession of alcohol. They can also be charged for constructive possession. An example would be having alcohol in their car. If a minor purchases or attempts to purchase alcohol they can be charge with MIP. They can even be charge with MIP for appearing visibly intoxicated, it is call possession by consumption. That means even if the minor does not actually have any alcohol in their possession, if their blood alcohol level (BAC) is more than two-hundredths of one percent, they can be arrested and charged for MIP.
Potential Consequences. The punishment for an MIP conviction can be more serious than many minors realize. Any minor, 16-20 years of age, who is convicted of or pleads guilty to MIP will be facing up to $300 in fines and suspension of their driver’s license for 30 days for their FIRST offense. For a second offense the fine can be up to $1000, suspension of their license for 90 days plus up to one year in jail. For a third offense the fines can be up to $2000, the license can be revoked for a year, and the minor could also face a year in jail. As heartbreaking as it would be to see your minor go to jail, the consequences don’t necessarily end there. It is possible that an MIP conviction can stay on your minor’s permanent record for the rest of their life which can have unimaginable negative consequences for their future goals. It is easy to underestimate the pressure teens are under today. It comes from all directions, and it includes the pressure to drink alcohol before they are of legal age. Teens know they are not supposed to drink, but often they really don’t fully understand the consequences for doing so anyway.
If you are a parent of a teenager, you know the concern. You have raised them well and taught them right from wrong and had those tough conversations. But will they make good decisions when they are not with you? Hopefully so, but no one is perfect. If you find yourself in need of a capable attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks for your minor, don’t hesitate to give Deputy & Mizell a call. We are here to help and have guided many parents through the same situation. You will get through it with the right legal support, and your first consultation is FREE.
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC to schedule your private (FREE) consultation today.
Representing Clients Across the Lake of the Ozarks Region