An MIP Can Negatively Affect Your Future: How to Drop the Charges and Learn From Your Mistakes
Underage drinking is a pervasive problem in the United States, with over 10.8 million minors contributing to the nation’s overall alcohol intake. Each year, approximately 5,000 individuals die as the result of underage drinking, with the cause of death ranging from DUI crashes to suicides, falls, burns, and other accidents. In Florida, underage drinking is a bigger problem than in most other states, and because of this, the state has cracked down significantly on minors caught with alcohol. Unfortunately, an MIP (Minor in Possession) can negatively affect a minor’s future. If you or your child has been charged with an MIP, it may be in their best interest to consult with an Orlando Juvenile defense lawyer to help you fight the charges and, in the best-case scenario, have them dropped completely.
Florida is a Zero Tolerance State
According to Florida Statute Section 322.2616, it is against the law for any driver under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 or higher—a BAC significantly less than the Federal standard of .08. If you are caught operating a motor vehicle with a BAC above .02, and if you are under the age of 21, you will be subject to the following penalties:
- Suspension of driver’s license for up to six months; and
- If BAC is .05 or higher, suspension of driver’s license indefinitely, or until you have completed a substance abuse course.
Furthermore, if you are under the age of 18, your parents will be contacted.
Penalties for a MIP
Florida law dictates that each MIP be treated differently, depending on the number of offenses a minor has committed. The punishments for a MIP conviction are as follows:
- First Offense: You will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to $500 in fines and 60 days in a juvenile detention facility.
- Second Offense: You will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and one year in a juvenile detention facility.
Furthermore, depending on the number of MIP violations you commit, the courts may order the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to withhold issuance, revoke, or suspend your driver’s license for not less than six months, but not more than one year for the first violation, and up to a period of two years for subsequent violations.
Defenses to a Minor in Possession Charge
At The Baez Law Firm, we understand that a MIP on your record can have serious consequences on your future, ranging from revocation of a college acceptance to problems with employment. Because of that, our juvenile defense lawyers work hard to craft a compelling case refuting the MIP charges brought against you, and to get the charges dropped. Possible defenses to a Minor in Possession charge include:
- There was no alcohol in the container you were caught with; or
- The alcohol was consumed in a religious service.
Consult an Orlando Juvenile Defense Lawyer
At The Baez Law Firm, our juvenile defense lawyers know just how detrimental a MIP conviction can be to a young person’s future. If you or a loved one has been charged with a Minor in Possession, contact our Miami criminal defense law firm today to see if you have a case. If you do, we can help you gather the evidence needed and work to get the charges dropped. To schedule your free consultation, call 800-588-BAEZ today.