Minor in possession or minor consumption charges are severe allegations and can stay on an individual’s criminal record permanently if not dealt with correctly. In Missouri, minor in possession laws (MIP) also refers to the consumption of drugs or alcohol by a minor. Though this charge can be for both drugs and alcohol, MIP tickets are usually given when alcohol is in involved. If you have are facing minor in possession charges and need an experienced Springfield minor consumption attorney, contact Missouri Legal today for a free consultation. We will work with you to get the charges against you reduced to a lesser crime or dismissed entirely.
This article discusses how minor in possession laws are handled in Missouri alongside possible defense strategies that your minor consumption attorneys in Springfield may employ on your behalf.
Missouri Minor in Possession Laws & Penalties
The laws pertaining to minor consumption or possession are straightforward, save for a few exceptions. Below is a condensed version of Missouri’s minor consumption and possession laws:
- It is illegal in Missouri for a person who is younger than 21 years old to purchase, attempt to buy or possess any intoxicating liquor. If found guilty of this infraction the minor may face up to 1 year in jail with fines up to $1000.
- In Missouri, it is illegal for a minor to have .02% blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
- According to MIP laws in Missouri, a sealed and labeled container indicating that the contents are alcoholic is not required to be opened to prosecute the offending minor. Additionally, if a minor declares that the container in question does not contain alcohol, he or she must prove it. Legislation like this can make it extremely difficult for people to win their cases without the assistance of a minor consumption lawyer in Springfield.
- If a minor is found to be involved in any of the acts as outlined above, he or she may be required to perform up to two chemical tests of urine, blood or breath from approved Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
- It is illegal in Missouri for persons younger than 21 years of age to sell or assist in selling any intoxicating liquor with some exceptions which are all business related.
- In Missouri, it is illegal for a person to supply, sell or give away any intoxicating liquor a person who is younger than 21 years old including on private property. An exemption to this law would be if the minor in question possesses or consumes alcohol on their parent or guardian’s private property. Violation of this statute can result in fines up to $1000 and up to a year in jail.
Not only will a minor in possession conviction land you fines and possible time behind bars, but the permanent criminal charge on your record could prevent you from being accepted to the college of your choice, having your dream career, getting a car loan and even buying a home.
Possible Defense Strategies Against Minor in Consumption Charges
Missouri’s laws surrounding MIP charges are becoming increasingly strict. To avoid having a Minor in Possession charge on your criminal record for the rest of your life, call Missouri Legal today. Our minor consumption lawyers in Springfield will be able to find the optimal defense strategy for your case based off of your case’s strengths and weaknesses and other essential factors. Some of the most common defense strategies used by skilled Springfield minor consumption attorneys include, but are not limited to:
- If the alleged act falls into any of the exception clauses of the statutes, therefore negating the validity of the charge altogether. An example of this would include a minor who may have been in possession of intoxicating liquor for school or medical purposes or if they were under parental supervision on their parent’s private property.
- The beverage was non-alcoholic. Occasionally the arresting officer can make a mistake at the time the ticket was issued. This can be a problematic defense strategy to prove to the court without an attorney. The minor consumption attorneys at Missouri Legal know precisely how to handle false or misleading evidence to reduce or dismiss the charges against you.
- If the person being charged with the minor in possession ticket was forced or intimidated into consuming the alcohol under the threat of injury or harm to themselves or another person.
- Involuntary intoxication. For example, if a person is given a MIP ticket for visible intoxication, but they had been drugged without their knowledge, this is considered involuntary intoxication, thus dismissing the charges against the defendant.
- If you were near the alcohol but in no way possessed or consumed it at any time.
It should be noted that all situations are unique, meaning that none of the defense strategies listed above may be appropriate for the charges you are up against. This does not mean that there is no hope for you to win your case. Our minor consumption attorneys in Springfield have fought and won thousands of cases. We regularly help our community with their legal needs including traffic violations, family law, criminal charges, and personal injury. We are dedicated to our clients and are proud to provide fair prices and reliable services to everyone we meet. Schedule a no obligation, free consultation today with the team at Missouri Legal.