Punishments for MIP

Across the United States, the legal age for consuming alcohol is 21 or older. Any person younger than this is considered a minor. A minor who touches, holds, or transports alcohol but does not visibly consume it is considered to be in possession of alcohol.

An MIP is a ticket given to minors in possession of alcohol. This ticket charges the minor with a misdemeanor offense. As such, the individual will face punishment if found guilty, and the offense will be on his or her criminal record.

What Is Considered Possession?

In terms of MIP charges, possession is a broad term because it covers many interactions that a minor may have with alcohol. An individual who is under 21 may be charged with MIP when he or she:

  • Picks up an empty beer can or alcohol bottle
  • Holds an alcohol beverage for someone else
  • Attends a party where alcohol is being consumed
  • Attempts to purchase alcohol
  • Transports any sort of alcohol

Even though the minor may not have consumed or even attempted to have consumed an alcoholic beverage, he or she can still be found in possession of alcohol under one of these conditions.

Sentences for Convicted Individuals

The sentencing for MIP charges varies by state. In general though, an individual’s sentence depends on how many prior MIP convictions that the individual has. Regardless of the state, for the first offense, individuals may face:

  • Fines
  • Community service
  • Suspension of his or her driver’s license
  • Alcohol awareness courses

Many states consider an individual’s first MIP a Class C misdemeanor, meaning the individual may be able to get the charges expunged from his or her record. For a second or third MIP offense, though, an individual may face more severe punishment, including:

  • Greater fines
  • Probation
  • Longer license suspension
  • Jail time

In each case, an individual charged with MIP will likely have to face trial before a judge, who will ultimately decide the punishment.

Contact Us

The Dallas MIP lawyers of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter may be able to help you fight your MIP charges. Contact us today at (214) 845-7007 to learn more.


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