California Minor in Possession Laws
California law seeks to protect young people by making it illegal for a minor to use or possess alcohol. Frequently, minors find themselves facing this charge after a party they’ve attended has been busted by the police or while drinking with friends in a public park or parking lot. Whatever the circumstances, there can be very serious consequences to a minor in possession charge, especially when it comes to a minor’s driving privileges.
It is against the law in the state of California for a person under the age of 21 to consume or possess alcohol in a public place under Business and Professions Code 25662 (a). In order to be found guilty of this offense, the prosecutor must be able to prove that:
- You were under the age of 21 at the time of the offense
- The substance in your possession did in fact contain alcohol
- You were in a public place when you were found in possession of alcohol
Schedule your free consultation today. Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Joni Eisenstein.
Penalties for a Minor in Possession Charge
How serious are the penalties for a minor in possession of alcohol offense? Under the law, a minor in possession offense is considered a misdemeanor and can remain on your permanent record. For a first conviction, you may face a fine of $250, additional penalties and assessments, community service, participation in a youth alcohol program or the loss of your driver’s license. For a young person, these penalties can have a major impact on your day-to-day life, including future job prospects, college admission and your overall sense of freedom.
For minors facing possession of alcohol charges in San Diego, it is in your best interest to retain an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal system. An attorney can work on your behalf to have your charges reduced to an infraction or even dropped altogether. Hiring the right attorney from the start can save you time, money and consequences down the line. If the offense does appear on your permanent record, a San Diego minor in possession attorney can work to get your record sealed.
How to Fight Your Minor in Possession Charges
A minor in possession charge can be stressful without the assistance of an experienced attorney who understands the law and knows how to fight the charges. A qualified attorney will consult with you to understand the specific circumstances of your case and determine the best possible defenses. Common defenses for California minor in possession charges include:
- You were not in a public place when you were found in possession of alcohol
- You were not actually in possession of the alcohol
- You were in possession of the alcohol for a legal or valid reason, such as delivering it for an of-age adult or for work-related reasons
- You were found in possession of alcohol due to an illegal search
Like any criminal charge, it is recommended that you avoid talking to the police when you are facing a minor in possession charge without the presence of an attorney. Anything you say to the police can be used against you and can impact your ability to present a strong defense.
San Diego Minor in Possession Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with a minor in possession of alcohol offense in San Diego County, you need the counsel of an experienced, reputable defense attorney to help you fight your charges. The right attorney can get your charges reduced or dropped, saving you money and serious marks on your permanent record.
Joni Eisenstein has been helping minors and their families in the San Diego area since 2003. She understands the law and has successfully helped many clients fight the charges and get the results that they want. Don’t let a mistake involving alcohol take your life off track. Instead, reach out to the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein to schedule a free consultation with our skilled minor in possession attorney.
If you are on the fence about hiring a defense attorney, stop thinking about it, and do it now
Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.