Defending Richland County Juveniles on Underage Alcohol Offenses
Minor In Possession • Underage Drinking And Driving
Are you under the age of 21? Do you have a teenage son or daughter who is under the age of 21? If so, you may be surprised to learn that young adults under 21 can be charged with a minor in possession of alcohol (MIP) violation even if they aren’t drinking alcohol; merely holding a can of beer is sufficient.
Considered a misdemeanor criminal offense, a MIP charge can result in a fine, not to mention affect a young person’s eligibility for academic scholarship and limit his or her driving privileges. Repeat offenses can lead to jail time and a dramatic increase in fines. If your son or daughter has received a MIP charge, your concern about long-term issues is valid. Fortunately, The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC, can help.
Our founding attorney, Marion M. Moses, has more than 18 years of trial law experience, including several years as a prosecutor for the 11th Judicial District Court where he tried a multitude of cases including criminal cases. Given this experience, he knows what prosecutors think when trying to get a conviction, and he uses this knowledge when defending his clients’ rights.
What is a Minor in Possession (MIP)?
According to South Carolina’s MIP laws, young adults can be charged with violating this code by engaging in these actions:
- Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol
- Presenting a fake ID to buy alcohol
- Possessing alcohol (open container)
- Consuming alcohol (underage drinking)
- “Zero tolerance” violations (underage DUI)
Penalties for Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
In South Carolina, a minor in possession of alcohol is subject to criminal penalties.
Depending on the individual’s age and other factors, a minor can face fines up to $100 or imprisonment for up to 30 days for the first offense. For subsequent offenses, there may be increased fines or even jail time of up to 30 days. A second offense carries a maximum fine of $200 or imprisonment for up to 60 days. A third or subsequent offense is punishable by a fine not exceeding $300 or imprisonment for 90 days.
The court may also suspend their driver’s license for up to a year. Additionally, the minor may have to attend an alcohol education or awareness program. Based on the circumstances, they may also have to perform community service. All of these penalties are in addition to any other legal consequences that result from the incident.
Minor In Possession Expungements
If your child has been charged with this offense, he or she may consider accepting a plea to be the best solution available. Depending on the circumstances that led to the charge, however, pleading guilty may not provide the most favorable resolution. Since there are severe consequences associated with a misdemeanor charge on a criminal record, you should still seek a lawyer’s counsel on South Carolina’s diversion programs in order to expunge or reduce the charge.
Contact The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC, To Reach A Practiced Defense Attorney Today
Whether you live in Richland County, Lexington County or any other county in South Carolina, or if you are from out of state, you can easily schedule a free initial consultation at our firm. Please call 803-770-4483 or complete our online contact form to arrange a meeting.
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