Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Boise Criminal Defense Attorneys - DUI Lawyers - Minor in Possession

Minor in Possession (MIP)
As the parent of teenaged children and by my very nature of being a Boise Criminal Defense Attorney, I get numerous phone calls from both terrified teens and distraught parents about the consequences of a MIP.  How serious is a charge and what are the penalties for a minor in possession?

Penalty for Minor in Possession of Alcohol
A MIP is a misdemeanor.  Anyone under the age of 21, at the time of the charge, who is in possession of any alcohol including beer, wine or hard liquor will be charges for illegal possession.  The first offense carries a fine up to $1,000.  A second time offense carries a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 30 days in jail.  A third offense will result in a fine of up to $3,000 and/or up to 60 days in jail. 

Now, if these fines and potential jail time are not bad enough, you will also face a suspended driver's license.  The first time you are charged with a MIP you will lose your license for up to one year.  Any conviction after that will carry a 2 year license suspension. 

Unlike a DUI charge where there is mandatory minimum absolute suspension, with a minor in possession charge, you can apply for a restricted license immediately.  To be granted this you must show by a preponderance of the evidence that it is absolutely necessary for you to drive.  An example of this would be a restricted license to drive to work or school if there were no bus available or a parent who could take you to and from work and school.

If you plead guilty or are convicted of a minor in possession you also may be subject to undergoing an alcohol evaluation and, if necessary, alcohol abuse treatment.

Effect of MIP on Automobile Insurance
Will my car insurance go up?  This is the second most common question I get as a Criminal Defense Lawyer from those charged with a minor in possession.  The Idaho Code has a specific provision in the statute governing MIP that states that a conviction of a minor in possession of alcohol shall not be used or considered in any fashion for purposes of car insurance.

If you have been charged for possession of alcohol and need to speak to one of our criminal lawyers, give us a call, (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

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