What a minor in possession charge means

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2022 | Juvenile Crimes |

Every year thousands of young people descend on Florida for spring break, where the music plays late into the night and the alcohol freely flows. Unfortunately for them, it is illegal for anyone under 21 years of age to drink alcoholic beverages. If your child is caught imbibing, they could be charged as a minor in possession of alcohol.

The minor in possession laws (MIPs) were created to teach teens about the dangers of drinking and driving. They also serve as a way to get teens who use alcohol into counseling or rehab before they develop a serious problem.

Penalties for MIP

Drinking alcohol isn’t the only way to get into trouble. Your teen can be charged with MIP if they are holding an unopened can of beer, or if there is alcohol in the near vicinity where they’re partying or hanging out. 

The penalties for being charged as a minor in possession are as follows:

  • The first offense is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. They may be sentenced to serve up to 60 days in jail and fined $500. They will also have to surrender their driver’s license for a period of six months to a year.
  • The second offense is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. They will be sentenced to serve up to one year in jail and fined $1,000. They will also have to surrender their driver’s license for a period of up to two years.

Before your teen leaves for spring break in Florida, remind them that drinking is illegal for anyone under the age of 21. Should your teen end up being charged as a minor in possession, you will need assistance from someone who understands the underage drinking laws and how to build a strong defense.