Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
A charge of minor in possession, commonly referred to as an MIP, means that the defendant, being a person under the age of 21 years, has been issued a citation by a police officer or Texas Alcohol Beverage Control Officer for being illegally in possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage. The principal element of this crime, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, is possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage.
Those under 21 are at risk of an MIP citation at parties, nightclubs, or even while riding in a vehicle when alcohol is present. With all the possible scenarios in which you can be charged with possession of alcohol by a minor, this is a common offense across the state, but even so, still comes with tough penalties that should be avoided. Even though this is considered a misdemeanor, a conviction can still follow you on your permanent record if not taken care of in the proper fashion.
Due to the possibility of this becoming a bigger issue than it needs to be, working with a criminal defense attorney will enable you to efficiently and professionally fight the charges and move on with your life.
Dallas County Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Attorney
If you have been charged with the offense of possession of alcohol by a minor, immediately figuring out what your options are, while preparing a defense strategy that effectively argues your case, is vital in making sure this offense does not come back to haunt you in the future.
The legal team at The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are well versed in Texas alcohol laws and will start working on your case right away in order to increase your chances of getting the charges reduced or completely dismissed.
Call (972) 233-5700 or send an online message to schedule a free and confidential consultation. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy proudly represent juveniles accused of criminal acts in the north Texas counties of Dallas, Collin, Wise, Johnson, Tarrant, Denton, Ellis and Rockwall.
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor under Texas Law
According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §106.05, a possession of alcohol by a minor offense occurs if an individual under the age of 21 possesses an alcoholic beverage.
Possession of an alcoholic beverage includes situations involving “constructive possession.” An example of constructive possession is when a minor is in an automobile where alcohol is readily accessible to any minor passenger in that vehicle. This situation extends to alcohol that is on the car seat, floor, or stored in the trunk of an automobile in which the driver is a minor in possession of the keys that unlock the trunk.
TABC §106.05 also specifically mentions that a minor may possess an alcoholic beverage:
- while in the course and scope of the minor’s employment if the minor is an employee of a licensee or permittee and the employment is not prohibited by this code;
- if the minor is in the visible presence of his adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or other adult to whom the minor has been committed by a court; or
- if the minor is under the immediate supervision of a commissioned peace officer engaged in enforcing the provisions of this code.
This offense is a considered Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00. However, if a minor has 2 prior convictions, the punishment is a fine of not less than $250.00 or more than $2,000.00 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 6 months (§106.071).
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy| Dallas Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Arrest Lawyer
Although seemingly a minor offense compared to other crimes, a possession of alcohol by a minor conviction can lead to legal and professional problems down the road. A conviction will be added to your permanent record, which you will most likely have to disclose before getting a job or applying for college or grad school.
With the possibility of this charge becoming a major issue, working with a criminal defense lawyer to make certain this offense is tackled in the most effective and timely manner is paramount. Meeting this charge head on will increase your chances of getting it dismissed, so that you can focus on more important things in life without the overhanging worry that this will come back to bite you at some point in the future.
If you, a loved one or a child of yours, is currently being charged with possession of alcohol by a minor, call the Dallas criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 to schedule a risk-free consultation to go over the detail of your case. The McConathy legal team proudly represents individuals in and around the north Texas cities of Dallas, Garland, Irving, Richardson, Farmers Branch, Plano, Frisco, Briar, Rhome, Alvord, Cleburne, Keene, Fort Worth, Arlington, Keller, Kennedale, Fate and Heath, among many others.