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Austin Minor in Possession Lawyer
A minor in possession conviction can put your entire future at risk. Defend yourself and your wellbeing by challenging your charge with help from an Austin MIP attorney.
Under Texas state law, no one under the age of twenty-one is allowed to consume or possess alcohol. If you are underage and the police caught you in one of these situations, you could be charged with minor in possession (MIP).
This type of charge can have long-lasting consequences that affect your life for years to come if you are successfully convicted. This makes challenging your MIP charge and seeking a dismissal critical, but taking on the criminal justice system isn’t something you want to do alone.
If you’ve been charged with MIP, contact an experienced Austin minor in possession lawyer from Tillman Braniff, PLLC. Our dedicated team of defense attorneys understands how to investigate this type of charge and counter any case offered by the prosecution.
Texas Law and Minors with Alcohol
Even if you were at a party where alcohol was served but didn’t drink any, you could still be charged with possession. This specific example is called constructive possession, which could also apply to a minor driving or riding in a vehicle with alcohol. Even sitting at a table where alcohol was present could get you charged with MIP.
The other form of possession is called “actual possession” and includes holding alcohol in your hand or having a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above zero percent.
Between the two types, constructive possession is far easier to defend against, but a good Austin MIP attorney will be able to challenge either form of charge.
For the best chance at seeing your charges dismissed, your defense needs to be tailored to the specific circumstances of your arrest. These are just a few examples of common minor in possession defenses:
- Possession of alcohol for work purposes
- Possession of alcohol while in the presence of parents or legal guardians who are over age twenty-one
- Possession of alcohol in an emergency situation, such as calling 911 for someone who’s experienced an alcohol overdose
Penalties for Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Texas
According to the Alcoholic Beverage Code of Texas, an MIP charge is a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
For a first offense, you will likely also be required to complete twelve hours of community service, attend an alcohol awareness class, and endure a thirty-day suspension of your drivers license.
If you have prior MIP convictions on your record, your charge may be increased to a Class B misdemeanor, which means the following legal consequences:
- Fine of between $250 and $2,000
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Six-month drivers license suspension
- Between twenty and forty hours of community service
- Alcohol awareness courses
Contact an Austin MIP Lawyer
While minor in possession might be a misdemeanor, a conviction will establish a criminal record and make things difficult down the road. Whether your arrest involved a simple misunderstanding or actual possession, you can fight to have your charges dismissed.