Defending Against a Minor in Possession Charge in Arizona: Penalties, Defenses, and Legal Help

Investigative Article: Uncovering the Truth about Minor in Possession Charges in Arizona

The teenage years are a time for exploration and discovery, but with that comes the potential for making mistakes. One mistake that can have serious consequences is being charged with Minor in Possession (MIP) in Arizona. This charge can have lasting effects on a young person's life, including affecting their education, job prospects, and even their ability to get a driver's license. In this investigative article, we will explore the truth about MIP charges in Arizona, including the penalties, defenses, and how to get a free consultation with a legal professional.

What is a Minor in Possession Charge?

A Minor in Possession charge occurs when a person under the age of 21 is found to be in possession of alcohol. According to Arizona law, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase, consume, or possess alcoholic beverages. This includes having alcohol in their car, even if it is unopened. It is important to note that Arizona has a strict zero-tolerance policy for MIP charges, meaning that any amount of alcohol in the possession of a minor can result in a charge.

Penalties for MIP Charges in Arizona

The penalties for MIP charges in Arizona can be severe. A first offense can result in a fine of up to $500, community service, and alcohol education classes. In addition, the minor's driver's license may be suspended for up to two years, or until they turn 18, whichever comes later. A second or subsequent offense can result in even harsher penalties.

How Long Does an MIP Stay on Your Record in Arizona?

Unlike some states, Arizona has no expungement law for MIP charges. This means that an MIP charge will remain on a minor's record permanently, unless certain conditions are met. One of the only ways to remove an MIP charge from a record is through a process called "Setting Aside a Judgment." This process involves filing a motion with the court and completing all of the required conditions of the sentence. However, even if the judgment is set aside, the record will still show that the individual was charged with an MIP.

Defenses to a Minor in Possession Charge

There are several defenses that can be used against a Minor in Possession charge in Arizona. These include:

  • The alcohol did not belong to the minor
  • The minor was not in possession of the alcohol
  • The stop or search was illegal
  • The minor was performing a legal duty, such as working for a licensed alcohol distributor

It is important to note that each case is unique, and the defenses that may be available will vary depending on the circumstances of the charge. Consulting with a legal professional can help you determine the best course of action for your defense.

Caught with a Fake ID at Your Local College Bar

Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol is a serious offense that can result in additional charges on top of an MIP charge. Arizona has strict laws regarding fake IDs, and being caught using one can result in fines, community service, and even jail time. In addition, having a fake ID can make it difficult for a minor to defend against an MIP charge, as it may be used as evidence of intent to consume alcohol.

DUI and a Minor in Possession Charge

If a minor is found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, they may be charged with both DUI and Minor in Possession. This can result in much harsher penalties, including fines, jail time, and an extended driver's license suspension.

Free Consultation With An Arizona Legal Professional

If you or someone you know has been charged with Minor in Possession in Arizona, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The experienced professionals at Kolsrud Law Offices can help guide you through the legal process and work to minimize the impact of an MIP charge on your life. They offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine the best course of action. Don't let a mistake as a teenager have lasting consequences. Contact Kolsrud Law Offices today.

For more information about defending against Minor in Possession charges in Arizona, visit mip-minor,Arizona.