The number of minors in Missouri who consume alcohol is somewhat alarming. Laws have been put in place to deter this behavior, some of which can affect for years those accused of violating them. A juvenile law attorney may be able to help minimize the consequences minors face if they are found with alcohol in their possession.
Missouri is one state that will enforce harsh penalties if a minor is convicted for possessing alcohol. The consequences, depending on the details of one's case and the number of offenses on one's record, include fines, jail time and license suspension. Fines tend to range from $300 to $1,000. Jail terms can last up to one year. When it comes to one's driving record, an MIP can remain on one's record until one reaches the age of 21, and it has been fives years since one's license was reinstated.
What defense strategies are available to fight an MIP charge? There are three basic defenses that are often used in such cases. These are:
- Container in one's possession held no alcohol
- Minor was legally allowed to consume alcohol
- Alcohol consumption was part of a religious service
Again, the details of one's case will need to be reviewed before settling on a defense strategy, whether it is one of those listed above or negotiating with prosecuting attorneys to pursue a plea agreement or alternative sentencing. Having an experienced juvenile law attorney at one's side will prove invaluable when fighting an MIP charge. With the right help, steps can be taken to achieve the best outcome possible for one's case.
Source: FindLaw, "MIP: A Minor in Possession", Accessed on May 18, 2017