Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
Starting life with a blemish on a young person’s record can have long-term consequences. If possible, it is always better to ensure a minor’s record remains clear of contact with law enforcement.
October 1, 2021 Update – The MIP law (Possession of Alcohol by Minor) was updated after the creation of this blog.
A first offense of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor is a civil infraction punishable with a fine of $100, and the judge can order the minor to participate in substance use disorder services.
A second offense is a misdemeanor punishable by not more than 30 days if the judge finds that the minor violated an order of probation, failed to successfully complete any treatment, screening, or community service ordered by the court, or failed to pay any fine for that conviction or juvenile adjudication, or by a fine of not more than $200.00, or both. The judge can order a minor to participate in substance use disorder services, perform community service, and undergo substance abuse screening and assessment.
A third violation is a misdemeanor that is punishable by imprisonment for not more than 60 days, if the court finds that the minor violated an order of probation, failed to successfully complete any treatment, screening, or community service ordered by the court, or failed to pay any fine for that conviction or juvenile adjudication.
Furnishing alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of 93 days and a fine of not more than $100.00.
MIP Deferral – If a minor pleads guilty to MIP, the judge can defer the conviction without entering a judgment. If the defendant fulfills the terms and conditions of probation, the court will discharge the individual and dismiss the proceedings. A discharge and dismissal under this section is without adjudication of guilt.
New Michigan Law Would Make First-Time MIP a Civil Infraction
For someone under 21 caught with alcohol, one possible consequence is a conviction for being a minor in possession of alcohol (MIP), a misdemeanor crime that, even for a first offense, carries a fine and can stay on their record for life. This may change if a new bill, on its way through the legislature, becomes law. Senate Bill 332 (2015) has passed the House and is going back to the Senate, where it is expected to be approved. The bill is supported by the Michigan District Judges Association and will soon be sent to the governor for his signature.
Minor in Possession of Marijuana
18 to 21 Years Old in Possession of Marijuana
Like possession of alcohol by a minor, for those aged 18 and 21, possession of up to 2.5 ounces or 12 plants, is a civil infraction. If caught with marijuana, you will have to give up the marijuana in your possession and pay a $100.00 fine. A second or subsequent civil infraction carries a fine of $500.00.
Penalties for people under 18
A first offense is a civil infraction with a fine of $100 or community service and a four-hour drug education class. A second offense is a civil infraction with a fine of $100 or community service but requires an eight-hour drug education class.
If passed, the new law will make a MIP first offense a civil infraction, punishable only by a fine of up to $100.
If you or a loved one is being charged with possession of alcohol by a minor, a civil infraction, or any other crime in Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County, or elsewhere in Michigan, you need to speak with an expert. An attorney who knows the courts, the prosecutors, and the always-changing laws can assist in mounting the best possible defense. If this new bill becomes law, the criminal justice system will treat first-time offenders much less harshly. In addition, the attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will have access to a powerful new tool to bargain other alcohol-related crimes down to civil infractions.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.