My Kid Is Cited For MIP!?!?

Most states have minor in possession (hereinafter “MIP”) laws concerning alcohol and drugs found in the possession of minors, regardless of whether they were using the substances.
Some states strictly enforce MIP laws and prosecute minors to the fullest extent of the law. In other states, however, a MIP case may be able to receive probation by entering a court-ordered diversionary program which typically includes an alcohol and drug evaluation and follow up treatment, along with other mandatory conditions the diversion program may require.
One may ask, what exactly is an MIP charge. State and city governments established MIP laws to educate minors about the dangers of consuming alcohol and drugs. In addition, these laws were created to get help for minors in need of chemical dependency treatment through an evaluation and follow up treatment. Finally, many of these diversion agreements involve community service, which allows the minor to give back to the community and get involved with his or her community in a positive manner.
In California and Washington, first time offenders convicted of MIP violations may have their driver’s license suspended. Other states’ MIP laws have punishments that are moderate for the first offense, but increase in severity for subsequent convictions.
In order to be convicted of an MIP offense, you do not have to be driving a motor vehicle. If you are holding an unopened beer, and you are under the state’s drinking age, you can still be convicted of a MIP offense. Additionally, even if you appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, an officer can cite the minor with MIP, and forward the case to the Prosecutors office for filing of criminal charges.
You also don’t have to be legally drunk under your state’s DUI laws to be found guilty of MIP. The fact that you are younger than the legal drinking age at the time of the incident, and you had alcohol in your possession or consumed alcohol, it may be sufficient to prove that you violated your respective state’s MIP laws.
Are there any defenses to an MIP charge? Defenses against MIP charges can be raised, but the validity of the defenses depends largely upon state and local laws. Some defenses to an MIP include: 1) there was no alcohol in the container possessed by the minor but the burden falls on the defendant to show that the container lacked alcohol; 2) the minor legally consumed alcohol for medical purposes such as prescribed medication that may have contained alcohol and/or 3) the minor drank alcohol as part of a religious service in which case the minor may have a defense to the MIP charge.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer.

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