Dallas-Fort Worth Minor in Possession of Alcohol ("MIP) Attorney
If you received a citation as a minor in possession of alcohol, known as an "MIP" in Texas, this is prosecuted as a Class C Misdemeanor. Often, underage minors are cited for "MIP" who were not even near an alcoholic beverage, but still received a citation nonetheless. If this has happened to you, you need to consult an aggressive attorney who practices criminal defense as soon as possible. It is highly advisable to avoid a conviction for this at all cost. If you do not, it could stay on your record for the rest of your life.
Texas MIP Law
A charge of "MIP", or as previously stated - "Minor in Possession" - constitutes an offense if a person under the age of 21 years of age for being illegally in possession, ownership or control of an alcoholic beverage. The principal element of this crime is it must be proven by reasonable doubt that you were in possession, ownership or control of an alcoholic beverage.
Minors are at risk of receiving an "MIP" citation anytime they go to a party, nightclub, and/or when inside a vehicle where alcohol is present, regardless of whether they were in the process of consuming it when cited. A minor can be in the proximity of alcohol which belongs to another person, but cannot touch, hold it in his/her hand, transport it, attempt to purchase, consume, and/or have any contact with it.
Possession of an alcoholic beverage may also include situations where it is a "constructive possession." An example would be when a minor is in a vehicle where alcohol is readily accessible to any minor passenger in that vehicle. This situation is even when alcohol is found on the car seat, floor or stored in the trunk of a vehicle, and the driver is a minor and in possession of the keys which can unlock the trunk.
With any of these situations, you should immediately consult with a Texas Minor in Possession Attorney who can effectively handle these kinds of cases.
Constructive possession can exist when:
- A minor is at a table with several other people who are drinking from a pitcher of beer with cups scattered on the table;
- When a minor picks up empty beer cans and cups;
- When a minor holds a friend’s beer or alcoholic beverage for just a brief period of time;
- When a minor even uses beer can to "spit" in for purposes unrelated to alcohol consumption.
In fact, a minor will be considered to be in possession of alcohol just by simply carrying a grocery bag for a friend which alcohol has been packed in. According to Section 106.05 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, possession of alcohol by a minor is presumed that if a minor under the age of 21 years of age commits this offense even if he/she possesses an alcoholic beverage. A minor may possess alcohol if he/she is in the visible presence of an adult over the age of 21 years old whether a parent, guardian, spouse or any other adult to whom he/she has been committed by a court. A minor may possess alcohol while in the course and scope of his/her employment if he/she is an employee of a license and the employment are not prohibited by this code. This offense is a Class "C" misdemeanor, which may be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00. However, if a minor has two 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.
The court shall order a convicted minor to perform community service for not less than 8 hours or more than 12 hours. If he or she has a prior conviction, the community service will not be less than 20 hours or more than 40 hours. The court shall order the Department of Public Safety to suspend the minor’s driver’s license or permit if he/she does not have one. To deny the issuance of one for: 30 days if he/she has no prior convictions; 60 days if he/she has one prior conviction; or 6 months if he/she has two prior convictions.
For the purpose of determining whether a minor has a prior conviction, an order of deferred adjudication for a prior offense is considered a conviction under the code.
The court shall require a convicted minor who has not been previously convicted to attend an alcohol awareness course approved by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. If he/she has been previously convicted, the court may require him/her to attend the course.
No matter what the charge is or what is the circumstance, contact The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder now, as our office will fight for you, and for your rights in the best manner possible. Contact us by visiting us at: www.CarlCederLaw.com or www.DFWDefender.com, or by phone at 469.2000.DWI(394) or 214.702.CARL(2275).