Please also see Carl's blog here.
Many people call with questions regarding Minor in Possession charges. A charge of Minor in Possession (MIP) means that a person, under the age of 21 years, has been given a citation for being illegally in possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage. The main element of this charge, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, is that you were in possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage.
Minors are always at risk of a MIP citation anytime they go to a party, a bar, or when they are in a vehicle where alcohol is present. A minor can be in the same proximity of alcohol which belongs to another person, but cannot touch, hold in his/her hand, transport, attempt to purchase, consume, or have any contact with it.
Possession of an alcoholic beverage may also include situations in which there is "constructive possession." An example of constructive possession is when a minor is in an automobile where alcohol is accessible to any minor passenger in that vehicle. An affirmative defense to an MIP is if the minor is in the "visible" presence by their parent or guardian.
According to 106.05 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code,Possession of Alcohol by a Minor is defined as follows:
A minor (a person under the age of 21 years) commits this offense if they possess an alcoholic beverage.
A minor may possess alcohol if they are in the visible presence of their adult (over the age of 21 years) parent, guardian, spouse, or other adult to whom they have been committed by a court.
A minor may possess alcohol while in the course and scope of employment if they are an employee of a license or permittee and the employment is not prohibited by this code.
This offense is a Class "C" misdemeanor punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00. However, if a minor has 2 prior convictions, the punishment is a fine of not less than $250.00 or more than $2,000.00 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 6 months.
If you are in need of a driven, skilled, and knowledgeable minor in possession attorney, please call The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC at 214.702.CARL (2275) now.