Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) is a misdemeanor offense. A first conviction does not carry any incarceration. However, if a minor is placed on probation for a first offense and violates his or her probation, the Court can subject the minor to incarceration through its contempt powers. A second or subsequent conviction for MIP allows for incarceration, and a mandatory driver's license suspension. The terms of probation that the Court can impose includes (but is not limited to): fines and costs, reporting to probation, alcohol/substance testing, alcohol/substance treatment, counseling, community service, and educational program(s). A first time offender can seek to have the offense expunged through a first offender program. A non public record is maintained by the Court and the Michigan Secretary of State to ensure that this form of diversion is not given a second time, and for some limited employment related reasons.
Minor in Possession - Driving A Car, Zero Tolerance prohibits a person under the age of 21 years from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .02 to .08. This offense is a misdemeanor offense that carries similar penalties to a operating while impaired charge. The Court can impose up to 93 days in jail, probation with probationary conditions, and fines and costs. The Michigan Secretary of State will assess 4 points, and will suspend the minor's driving privileges for 6 months. This offense is not subject to expungement.
Minor in Possession - Transport or Possess Alcohol in a Car is a 93 day misdemeanor that prevents a minor from transporting or possessing alcohol in a car. The exceptions to this law include being with an adult over the age of 21 years, and transporting alcohol for purposes of employment.
It is important to hire an experienced attorney immediately for the following reasons:
1) having a criminal conviction can have repercussions on an individual's eligibility for grants, scholarships, employment, and ability to drive a car. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explore possible defenses, such as Constitutional Rights violations or affirmative defenses that may lead to the dismissal of the charge(s). An experienced criminal defense attorney can make sure that you have a fair trial that gives you the best chance of prevailing if you elect to have a trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney can get you the best result possible if you choose to plead guilty or no contest. In some instances the lawyer can enter into plea bargains with the prosecution, plea agreements with the Court, or request statuses in the law to keep the conviction from becoming a public record.
2) business owners need an experienced attorney to help try to maintain the licensing of the party store, bar, or restaurant with the state of Michigan. The loss or suspension of the ability to sell or serve liquor is a severe consequence which can ruin a business. A dram shop lawsuit also can damage the viability of a business.
3) hiring an experienced lawyer can reduce the stress, worry, and emotional impact of the legal system.
Sometimes in life there is only one opportunity to obtain the right result.
Hiring the right criminal defense lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your family. There are many lawyers who claim to do more than what they are able - just as there are many surgeons in the world that are no better than butchers. Do not settle for a legal hack job. Practicing law is a skill that develops over time with experience, commitment, dedication, and God given talent. There are no amateur attorneys at Hilf & Hilf, PLC – only professionals that are guided by the humanity in the individuals we serve, and the drive not to settle for what is easy over what is right.