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  • Possession of Alcohol by a Minor in Dallas

What Constitutes a Minor in a Possession Charge?

Under Section 106.05 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, an individual has committed a possession of alcohol by a minor offense if he or she is under the age of 21 and possesses an alcoholic beverage.

A minor in possession charge, otherwise known as “MIP,” is issued as a citation by a police officer or Texas Alcoholic Beverage Control Officer. A minor is at risk of being issued a MIP charge if they are in direct or indirect possession of, an owner of, or in control of any alcoholic beverage.

Where are MIP Charges Issued?

A minor in possession of alcohol is at risk of receiving a MIP charge at any time but they tend to be issued:
• At parties
• In night clubs or bars
• At concerts
• While riding in a vehicle where alcohol is present

When Can a Minor Possess Alcohol?

The state of Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking, meaning that any detected amount of alcohol in a minor’s bloodstream is sufficient for an alcohol-related criminal charge.

However, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code has listed certain circumstances under which a minor may legally possess alcohol without being held liable for a minor in possession charge:

• When the minor is engaged in duties that are within the scope of his or her employment as an employee for a licensee or permittee
• When the minor is in the visible presence of an adult parent, guardian, spouse, or other adult who has been deemed responsible for the minor by a court
• When the minor is under the direct supervision of a commissioned peace officer that is engaged in enforcing provisions of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage code

What are the penalties for a MIP Charge?

An individual that has been issued a MIP charge may face penalties such as:

• 30 day driver’s license suspension for a first-time offender
• 60 day driver’s license suspension for a second-time offender
• 180 day driver’s license suspension for a third-time offender

A MIP charge is a Class C Misdemeanor and may also face penalties listed under Section 106.071 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code including:

• A maximum of a $500 fine for a first-time offender
• A fine of not less than $250 or no more than $2,000 for an offender with 2 prior convictions
• A jail sentence not to exceed 6 months

Are There Other Potential Issues for Those Convicted of a MIP Charge?

Contrary to popular belief, a MIP charge will not disappear from an individual’s record once they turn 21. A MIP conviction remains on the offender’s driving record and court record unless he or she fights to get the record sealed.

Having a MIP charge on your record could lead to future professional or legal issues. An individual will more than likely be required to disclose his or her MIP charge if he or she is:
• Seeking new employment
• Applying to college
• Applying to graduate school
• Applying for loans
• Leasing a house or apartment

Have You Been Convicted of a MIP Charge?

A MIP charge is a serious crime that remains on your permanent record and could threaten your professional plans in the future. It is vital that you seek a strong criminal defense to assist you in challenging your MIP charge. Here at the Wilder Firm we have a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys who are best suited to meet your needs as you work through the legal proceedings. Contact the Wilder Firm today for your free consultation.

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