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Minor in Possession Criminal Defense Lawyer Oceanside, Vista

In the state of California, it is considered a misdemeanor offense for any person under the age of 21 to be in possession of alcohol in a public place. A Minor in Possession (MIP) charge can have a serious impact on a young person’s future, including their future education and employment opportunities. A conviction will result in loss of driving privileges for a year, eliminating the minor's ability to get to school and work. Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t let this one error negatively impact the rest of your life.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a Minor in Possession offense, it is vital that you secure an experienced Oceanside criminal lawyer to help you get a positive outcome in your case. Criminal Defense Lawyer Joni Eisenstein can help you fight your charges so you can get back to your life and protect your future.

California Minor in Possession Law

A Minor in Possession charge is related to California Business and Professions Code Section 25662 BP. Under this law, the prosecution must show the following circumstances were present in order to prove the guilt of the offense:

  • The individual was under the age of 21 at the time of the offense;
  • The individual was in fact in possession of an alcoholic beverage; and,
  • The individual was in a public place.

If any of these elements cannot be proven by the prosecution, a young person cannot legally be charged with Minor in Possession. An experienced criminal defense lawyer like Joni Eisenstein will research your case and prepare your strongest defense to fight your charges.

Additional special consequences for minors who are in possession of alcohol and/or marijuana:

  • If a minor is convicted of having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code section 23222(a), they will lose their driving privilege for a year in addition to the court imposing fines and community service.
  • If a minor is convicted of having an open container of marijuana in a vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code section 23222(b) they will lose their privilege to drive for a year in addition to the court imposing fines and community service.
  • Vehicle Code section 23224 says that if a minor is in possession of a closed container of alcohol in a vehicle as either a driver or passenger, it is a misdemeanor offense that can result in jail time, a fine, and loss of driving privileges for a year.
  • Health and Safety Code section 11362.4 says that anyone under the age of 18 who smokes marijuana in a vehicle as a driver or passenger is subject to a fine and community service.

Minor in Possession Penalties and Consequences

A Minor in Possession conviction is a misdemeanor offense that comes with penalties and other consequences that could significantly impact your life. The penalties for a first-time offense include a fine of $250 and 24-36 hours of community service. A subsequent offense can result in a fine of $500 and up to 48 hours of community service.

The financial consequences and the hours of service outside your school and work schedule can be burdensome enough. However, there are other serious costs that come with a Minor in Possession conviction. An MIP conviction results in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license. In the event that the young person does not yet have their driver’s license, there will be a one year delay in their ability to obtain their license.

In addition, since a Minor in Possession is a misdemeanor offense, the conviction will go on your permanent record. This will be visible to potential employers or educational institutions when you are looking for a job or applying to go to college.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

When you have been charged with a Minor in Possession in Oceanside or Vista, the potential consequences for your future can be scary. You need a skilled, experienced and compassionate criminal attorney who understands the California laws and the emotional impact the charges can bring. Joni Eisenstein has tried thousands of cases in San Diego County over the years and has successfully defended young people facing Minor in Possession charges in Oceanside and Vista. She cares about her clients and will fight tirelessly for your future or that of your child.

If you or a loved one has been charged as a minor in possession of alcohol in Oceanside, Vista or anywhere in San Diego County, contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Joni Eisenstein for your free consultation to learn how she can help you fight the charges and get back to your life.

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