If your child has been charged with a Minor in Possession of Alcohol charge (MIP) in Union City, Georgia, you need to contact an experienced defense lawyer immediately. A majority of people think that a minor in possession charge is just like a traffic offense ticket, which is very far from the truth. That is because a MIP charge comes with serious consequences, such as hefty fines and jail time. In fact, the chances of the minor being charged and taken to jail are high, especially if it is a repeated offense. Moreover, an arrest at this age has lifetime effects and consequences.
At The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C., we mostly focus our criminal practice on first-time offenders. We have done this for many years, gaining experience and knowledge to help you out through this tough situation. Through our dedication and determination, we will use everything possible within legal limits to get you the best possible outcome. Our Union City minor in possession of alcohol defense lawyer will help you protect the name, rights, and freedom of your child.
Call us today at 404-418-7816 to schedule a consultation session with Attorney Gil. A consultation session allows you to understand what the law says, decide on the best action to take, and get answers to any legal questions you may have from our seasoned criminal defense attorneys.
What Is A Minor In Possession (MIP)?
According to police records, minor in possession is the most common cause of arrest in Georgia for those who are under 21 years old. A MIP is a criminal offense, which means it attracts a fine, jail time, or both. It is important to note that MIP can also refer to a minor in possession of drugs or other illicit substances. However, it is mostly used to describe or refer to the possession of alcohol.
The primary purpose of MIP laws is to discourage underage drinking with the aim of preventing adolescent vandalism, driving under the influence, and disorderly conduct. It is important to note that MIP laws and punishments vary from one state to the next. Also, in most states, underage drinking charges fall under the category of misdemeanors.
Nevertheless, according to Georgia Code Title 3, Chapter 3, and Article 2 (Alcoholic Beverages, Regulation of Alcoholic Beverages Generally, and Prohibited Acts respectively), anyone who is under the age of 21 is prohibited from consuming or processing alcoholic beverages. However, a person under 21 years old is allowed to serve alcohol in a licensed establishment as part of their job.
Prohibited Activities Under Minor In-Possession Laws
MIP is a popular law, known by many Georgians. However, the law has specified the prohibited activities, which fall under “minor in possession” laws. The prohibited activities can be found under Georgia Act 3-3-23. The law prohibits the following:
- Supplying alcohol to persons under 21 years
- Misrepresenting one’s age with the aim of purchasing alcohol
- Purchasing, procession, or attempting to buy alcohol for a person who is under 21 years
- Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol
- Misrepresenting one’s identity to purchase alcohol
How Can A Minor In Possession Charge Affect Your Future?
There is no doubt that any criminal charge will have an impact on your future. This fact also applies to minors as well. We live in an era where background checks are constantly being conducted for any action in life. For example, when applying for a job, more often your employer will conduct a background check. If they find any criminal convictions or charges, you may lose your job. Another good example is when applying for credit, mortgages, or bank loans. Loan submission and processing take several days for a reason. Over the set period, the bank will conduct a background check.
This shows that “minor in possession” and any other similar charges have a significant impact on the accused’s future. Other impacts include the following: –
- Expensive monetary fines
- Negative impact on graduate school or college admissions
- Academic disciplinary hearing impacts such as suspensions and dismissal
- Loss of employment opportunities or the employment itself
- Addition of jail time to any other unrelated offenses
To prevent all of these, it is wise to allow a highly experienced and skilled minor in possession of alcohol defense lawyer to help you. All you have to do is call the offices of Attorney Gil at 404-418-7816. There is a reason we allow clients to schedule a consultation session to talk directly to our defense lawyer. It gives you the opportunity to know more about the case and the best action to take. We are committed to helping you navigate our complicated legal process and work for the best possible outcome.
Penalties For Minor In Possession Of Alcohol
First of all, it is important to note that different states have different penalties for minors in possession of alcohol cases. In Georgia, the penalties for this offense will vary as well. It is affected by the location of the court (if the child is below 17 years old, the case will be heard in a juvenile court and the punishment will be based on that) and the severity of the offense (for example, MIP and DUI – meaning the minor was caught with alcohol and at the same time driving while under the influence). Do not forget that prior criminal history will affect the outcome or penalties.
As mentioned, this is why we recommend scheduling a consultation session because every case is different with different parameters.
In Georgia, if a person is found guilty of a MIP charge, penalties take various forms. Nevertheless, it will include more or less of the following: –
- Payment of fines
- Revocation of driver’s license
- Community service
- Alcohol education and enrollment in diversion programs
- Possible incarceration
- Offense on criminal record
You should note that a violation of “minor in possession of alcohol” (MIP) in Georgia can be harsh. The punishment may come in the form of 6 months of jail time, a fine of $300, or both. For adults who have been accused of the same charges (like purchasing alcohol for minors or furnishing alcohol), the punishment comes in the form of 1-year jail time, a $1000 fine, or both.
Georgia’s Department of Driver’s Services will suspend the driver’s license of a minor who has been found guilty of attempting to purchase alcohol. The minimum suspension penalty is six months, and a minimum of 12 months is required for other subsequent convictions.
Exceptions For Private Possession
We can use a variety of defenses in your minor in-possession case. One of these exceptions is parental consent within the home. What does this mean? Well, it means that one exception to minors in possession is possession within the home with parental consent. Overall, there are numerous alternatives to consider. First-time offenders can get into a diversion program or a first-time offender program.
Can You Get A MIP Charge Removed From Your Record?
The sad truth is that a conviction for a minor in possession remains on your criminal record permanently in Georgia. There is no way you can remove it from the records. Remember, this only applies to convictions; if you went to court and were found guilty.
The only way to prevent this is by hiring a skilled MIP attorney in Union City, GA. An experienced lawyer will try to find ways to negotiate for an alternative punishment to prevent staining your record or having to go through the tiring process of having the charge expunged from your criminal record.
Minor In Possession Expungements
It is possible to have a criminal record restricted, sealed, or expunged. This allows persons who succeed to have their record expunged an opportunity to remove the record from public eyes that may prevent them from employment, housing, licensing, and more opportunities. If a record is classified, only criminal justice administrators have the power to access it for criminal investigation, and employment purposes. Nevertheless, the restricted charges will not show up in your record checks if conducted through private or public employment, loan, and housing applications.
Also, it is wise to know about the legal effects of an expungement. After an expungement is granted, the person who received it cannot be found guilty of perjury, making a false statement, or failing to acknowledge or admit a MIP arrest. Remember, it is designed to restore your legal status to that before the arrest.
We work with you to protect your child’s future. Call us today to schedule a consultation session.
Your Best Defense for a Minor in Possession Charge!
All you need to do is contact The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C., today. We will help you get answers to your questions, learn more about what the law says, and know the best defensive action to take. It does not matter how bad you think your case is; we are in a position to represent you so that you can get the most favorable outcome possible.
Call us today at 404-418-7816 to schedule a private and confidential consultation with attorney Gil.