A new school year is coming. I felt it was a good time to provide information on the “Minor in Possession of alcohol” charge that happens a lot here in San Diego. The MIP charge is not regulated to students, but can hit those under 21 in the military and who have begun to be working professionals. This is an important charge to address due to its harsh consequences. Lets discuss a little about this charge.
Business and Professions code 25662(a)….. aka Minor in possession of alcohol.. also known as an “MIP”. A charge that can have severe punishment driving wise with a one year suspension. Read on to learn more about this charge.
San Diego is a place where alcohol is all around. There are many bars throughout San Diego, and many places where people can obtain alcohol. Sometimes, adults over the age of 21 are not the only people obtaining alcohol, which is illegal. Not only bars but I have seen people being charged at sporting events, concerts, house parties, or walking along the sea wall.
A minor, someone under the legal drinking age of 21, is not allowed to drink, or even possess alcohol. If they do, the can be fined and required to do community service. If the same minor has more than one offense, the fine can double, and the community service hours can increase. Not only will they be punished by the court, but the DMV can also punish the minor by suspending their driver’s license for one year.
If a police officer legally comes upon an area and sees a minor in possession of alcohol in plain view, they may seize the alcohol under certain conditions, such as there is a gathering with minors present and not supervised by a legal parent or guardian.
What does this mean for me?
This means that if you are a minor, you can receive punishments for being in possession of alcohol, not only by the court, but also by the DMV. It is best for you not to drink or possess alcohol until you have reached the appropriate age. Additionally, if you or a loved one has been charged with minor in possession of alcohol, hiring a proactive attorney can benefit you.
There are several legal defenses that apply to this law.
- The minor didn’t actually possess the alcohol (it wasn’t his/hers),
- The minor was delivering it under orders from a boss / parent / guardian and only possessed it for that limited purpose,
- The alcohol was discovered during an illegal search and seizure, or
- The minor otherwise acted responsibly by calling 911 to report that he or another minor needed medical attention.
If you or a loved one have been charged with as a minor in possession of alcohol or selling alcohol to a minor, call The Law Office of Mark Deniz to help protect your rights. You want a former prosecutor in your corner. I spent years as a negotiating Deputy District Attorney and Deputy City Attorney. If there an good resolution for you it can be achieved with experience. Students and military receive discounts.
Although Business and Professions Code 25662 BP is only punishable by community service and/or a fine, it is nevertheless a misdemeanor. This means that a conviction will become part of one’s permanent criminal record, which is why it is critical to fight this charge.
In addition, Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC provides that a conviction for violating California’s minor in possession law will result in a one-year suspension of the minor’s driver’s license or a one-year delay in his opportunity to obtain a driver’s license if he is not old enough to obtain a license. This law further provides that an additional one-year suspension will be added to each subsequent underage alcohol or drug-related conviction that he suffers.
Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz to defend your rights. Call 858-751-4384.
25662. (a) Except as provided in Section 25667, any person under the age of 21 years who has any alcoholic beverage in his or her possession on any street or highway or in any public place or in any place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours or more than 32 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed or is not attending school. A second or subsequent violation shall be punishable as a misdemeanor and the person shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or required to perform not less than 36 hours or more than 48 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed or is not attending school, or a combination of fine and community service as the court deems just. It is the intent of the Legislature that the community service requirements prescribed in this section require service at an alcohol or drug treatment program or facility or at a county coroner’s office, if available, in the area where the violation occurred or where the person resides. This section does not apply to possession by a person under the age of 21 years making a delivery of an alcoholic beverage in pursuance of the order of his or her parent, responsible adult relative, or any other adult designated by the parent or legal guardian, or in pursuance of his or her employment. That person shall have a complete defense if he or she was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative, or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage. (b) Unless otherwise provided by law, where a peace officer has lawfully entered the premises, the peace officer may seize any alcoholic beverage in plain view that is in the possession of, or provided to, a person under the age of 21 years at social gatherings, when those gatherings are open to the public, 10 or more persons under the age of 21 years are participating, persons under the age of 21 years are consuming alcoholic beverages, and there is no supervision of the social gathering by a parent or guardian of one or more of the participants. Where a peace officer has seized alcoholic beverages pursuant to this subdivision, the officer may destroy any alcoholic beverage contained in an opened container and in the possession of, or provided to, a person under the age of 21 years, and, with respect to alcoholic beverages in unopened containers, the officer shall impound those beverages for a period not to exceed seven working days pending a request for the release of those beverages by a person 21 years of age or older who is the lawful owner or resident of the property upon which the alcoholic beverages were seized. If no one requests release of the seized alcoholic beverages within that period, those beverages may be destroyed. (c) The penalties imposed by this section do not preclude prosecution or the imposition of penalties under any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, Section 13202.5 of the Vehicle Code.