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How serious is a minor-in-possession charge?

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2020 | Juvenile Crimes |

You knew that your divorce was hard on your child, but you didn’t think that they’d turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. They’re only 14, so the thought never crossed your mind that they’d get into your liquor cabinet or share alcohol with their friends. 

You didn’t know anything about this issue until your child got caught in possession of alcohol at the mall. They were with their friends, and the authorities were called. Now, they’re facing charges for their actions.

A minor in possession charge can be frightening, and there is a potential for it to have a huge impact on your child’s life. In Florida, minors may not possess alcohol at any time, unless they are at least 18 and are serving or preparing alcohol for sale. They may also possess it as part of a class where tasting is required at a post-secondary facility. (The catch is that students may only taste, and not drink, the alcohol.)

This might seem extreme to you, but these laws are designed to keep children safe. At the same time, if your child is caught in possession of alcohol, their life could be affected negatively. They could face:

  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • Probation for up to six months
  • Fines of up to $500

These penalties are all for a first offense. On subsequent offenses, your child could face jail for up to a year, fines of up to $1,000 and be on probation for a year.

It’s a smart choice to work with an attorney as soon as you can in cases like this. Protecting your child’s rights and future is essential so that they can have the opportunities in life that they deserve. Find out more about your legal options by continuing to review our site for information.