MINOR IN POSSESSION (MIP)
If you have been accused of drinking or possessing alcohol underage in the state of Missouri, this can carry serious criminal consequences. It is illegal in the state of Missouri for any individual under age 21 to purchase, possess, or attempt to buy any alcohol. It can be frustrating, confusing, and costly to avoid protecting your rights with a minor in possession charge.
THE CHARGES YOU ARE FACING
Any individuals who are found guilty of violating this Missouri statute will be guilty of a misdemeanor charge and face up to 1 year in jail and $1000 in fines. This is outlined in the Missouri revised statute 311.325.1. However, there are some minor exceptions to these rules. The exceptions apply to individuals who are 18 years or older, who are enrolled in a university or college culinary course and have been requested to taste wine or beer as part of the course curriculum under the guidance of an authorized instructor.
This enables minors to receive alcoholic beverages only if it is mandatory for their culinary class and managed by an authorized adult at least 21 years old. This is further explained under Missouri revised statutes 311.325.4.
What You Need to Know About Appearing Visibly Intoxicated
Possessing alcohol or attempting to purchase alcohol is not the only way that you can wind up facing serious charges. In the event that you appear to be visibly intoxicated or have a blood alcohol level higher than 200ths of 1%, an offender who is found guilty of this may be facing up to a year in prison and $1000 in fines as outlined under Missouri statutes 311.325.1 and 577.001.
Missouri is unique when compared with other states that have minor in possession laws because Missouri's statutes describe that is the burden of proof falls on the state when prosecuting any minor for possession of intoxicating liquor. Missouri does not necessarily require that a labeled and sealed container be open in order to pursue charges against a minor for possession of intoxicating liquor.
Do I Have to Be Tested?
Any minor who is believed to be engaged in behavior that violates the above section could be subjected to two chemical tests of the blood, urine or breath. In the event that you have been accused of being a minor in possession of alcohol, you need to take these charges seriously. Even though this is a misdemeanor charge in Missouri, it can have significant implications for your future.
Missouri courts take MIP charges very seriously and you could also be looking at having your driver's license suspended for 30 days for a first offense, 90 days for your second offense or revoked for an entire year on the third or a subsequent MIP conviction. If you do not have this expunged from your record it can also be attached to your name and impact your ability to receive scholarships or find work in the future.
MINOR IN POSSESSION ATTORNEY IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Speaking with an experienced Missouri MIP attorney as soon as possible after you've been charged is strongly recommended. Set up an initial consultation with Crozier Law as soon as possible to discuss your legal options going forward. I can give you personalized attention to your situation and ease your concerns when facing these hard barriers to overcome. You're not alone. Schedule an appointment with me today.