Dallas MIP Lawyer – Articles

Irving MIP Lawyer

An MIP, or possession of alcohol by a minor, is a Class C Misdemeanor. In this instance, a police officer or officer from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) gives a person under the age of 21 a ticket for having alcohol in his or her possession.

The minor was illegally in possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage. The prosecutor, in order to be successful in his or her prosecution, must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the minor had possession, ownership, or control of the drink in question.

While this may sound difficult, minors run the risk of an MIP whenever they attend a party, visit a nightclub, or ride in a vehicle in which alcohol is present. If the minor is around alcohol which belongs to another person, he or she may not touch the container of alcohol or hold any alcoholic drink in his or her hand. In addition, a minor may not attempt to purchase, transport, or consume any alcohol. Basically, minors are not supposed to have direct contact with alcohol.

It is possible for the prosecutor to apply the doctrine of constructive possession in some instances. Constructive possession occurs when a minor does not have actual possession but has the ability to control the beverage. When a person sits at a table with a number of glasses and a pitcher of beer, for example, constructive possession can be applied. In addition, a minor helping to clean up who picks up beer cans and cups can have constructive possession applied. Minors helping friends by holding their drink while they put on a coat or jacket or use a beer can as a spittoon also are susceptible to constructive possession charges.

As a Class C misdemeanor, MIPs carry a potential fine of between $250 and $2,000. A judge has the option of assigning a minor to 180 days in jail instead of issuing a fine. Community service is typically part of the punishment for an MIP as well. First time offenders will be made to serve 8 and 12 hours of community service. Subsequent convictions will warrant between 20 and 40 hours of community service. It is also possible for the convicted minor’s license to be suspended for anywhere between 30 and 180 days. The length of suspension typically varies based on the number of prior convictions for similar offenses.

If you have been cited for being in possession of alcohol, contact Irving MIP lawyer Mark T. Lassiter at (214) 845-7007 to discuss your case.

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