MIP: A Minor in Possession
Many states have minor in possession (MIP) laws concerning alcohol and drugs found in the possession of minors, regardless of whether they were using the substances.
Some states strictly enforce MIP laws and prosecute minors to the fullest extent of the law. In other states, however, a minor in a MIP case may be able to receive probation by entering a court-ordered diversionary program, getting medical help, and staying out of trouble.
MIP Laws: What Are They?
State governments created minor in possession laws to:
- Educate minors about the dangers of drinking and driving;
- Get chemical dependency treatment and help for minors;
- Involve minors in community service.
You do not have to be driving to be convicted of violating a MIP law. If you are holding an unopened beer, and you are under the Texas drinking age, you can still be convicted of a MIP offense.
You also don't have to be legally drunk Texas DWI laws to be found guilty of MIP.
The fact that you:
1) are younger than the legal drinking age at time of the citation; and
2) had alcohol in your possession; or
3) attempted to buy alcohol; or
4) drank alcohol
may be sufficient to prove that you violated Texas MIP laws, or the laws of another state that you were visiting.
Minor in Possession (MIP) Charges - Your Legal Rights
If you or a loved one experienced face legal charges of violating your state's MIP laws, you may be able to defend and fight the charge in court.
It is very important that you contact a DWI or criminal defense attorney to learn how they may be able to help you or your family in a MIP case.
Some of the legal factors that a minor in possession defense attorney can review with you include:
- Whether you or your loved ones, given the particular facts of your case, actually violated city or state law;
- Whether the arresting police or law enforcement officer followed the law;
- Whether your conduct did or did not constitute a criminal violation; and
- Whether you have an affirmative defense to the MIP case.
Austin Juvenile Offenders Defense: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
Don't let your teenager's poor judgment or drug use ruin their future. At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we are prepared to protect the rights of teenagers in juvenile court, and where a plea bargain, juvenile probation, or other alternative form of sentencing is in our client’s best interests, we will work hard to get the best deal possible. When possible, we work to get juvenile violations removed through expunction, and we committed to getting our clients the treatment for drug and alcohol addiction they need.