Though the underage possession of alcohol can seem like a pretty straightforward offense, in Texas, there is a lot of confusion about what actually constitutes an underage possession offense. Debates over whether a parent or other guardian is present negates the charge and the ability of a parent to give their child an alcoholic beverage complicate what should be a straightforward offense.
When you or your child are facing a Texas underage possession of alcohol charge in Williamson County, working with an experienced Georgetown juvenile criminal defense lawyer can clear up the confusion around your case while fighting to protect you or your loved one’s future.
Georgetown Underage Possession of Alcohol Defense Lawyer
In addition to the fines and other penalties that come with a conviction for underage possession of alcohol in Texas, you or your child could also face problems with job applications, educational opportunities, and certain government assistance. If you or your child has been arrested on charges of underage possession of alcohol anywhere in Williamson County, including Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, and Hutto, contact Price & Twine, PLLC to immediately begin your defense.
With over a decade of legal experience serving clients like you, experienced Georgetown criminal defense attorney Michael Price knows what it takes to defend your rights and your future from conviction. To find out what Price & Twine, PLLC can do for you or your child’s Williamson County area underage possession of alcohol charge, call (512) 354-1880 or fill out an online contact form today and schedule your free initial case consultation.
Underage Possession of Alcohol in Williamson County
In Texas, underage possession of alcohol is also known as minor in possession or MIP. This offense is governed by Section 106.05 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, which states that it is an offense for a person under 21 years of age to possess an alcoholic beverage, except for in very specific circumstances. These exceptions are limited directly by statute and include:
- When possession by minor occurs in the course and scope of his or her employment at an establishment licensed or permitted to have alcohol and is not otherwise prevented by the TABC
- Minor in possession of alcohol in visible presence of parent, spouse, or other legal guardian
- Minor in possession of alcohol is under the immediate supervision of a law enforcement officer engaged in the enforcement of TABC code.
- When the minor in possession of alcohol was the first person to request emergency response to a possible case of alcohol poisoning of another person, remained on the scene until medical assistance arrived, and fully cooperated with medical and law enforcement personnel
If none of the above circumstances exist, the charge for minor in possession of alcohol is likely valid. However, there are other defenses to MIP. For a conviction of underage possession of alcohol in Williamson County to occur, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in possession of the alcohol. Possession can mean actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession is when you have the alcohol on your person, such as in a cup in your hand or in a bottle in your purse or pocket.
Constructive possession is usually more difficult to prove because it involves intent. To prove constructive possession, the prosecution must show that you were aware that the alcohol was present, were able to take possession of the alcohol, and had the intent to take actual possession of the alcohol. Without proof of intent in constructive possession or proof of actual possession of the alcohol, the prosecution has no case. Whatever the circumstances of you or your child’s MIP charge in Georgetown, an experience Williamson County criminal defense lawyer can fight to have the case reduced or dismissed.
Penalties for Georgetown Minor in Possession of Alcohol
The penalties for a conviction of underage possession of alcohol in Texas are serious and extend beyond the statutory sanctions into you or your child’s future. According to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.071, possession of alcohol by a minor is a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas. In addition to the usual penalty of up to $500 in fines for this class of misdemeanors, a first conviction for MIP in the Georgetown area also comes with eight to 12 hours of community service and a 30-day driver’s license suspension or waiting period.
Subsequent convictions of minor in possession of alcohol in Texas increase the penalties, and can result in $250-$2,000 in fines, up to 180 days in jail, a six-month driver’s license suspension or waiting period, and 20-40 hours of community service. By law, all community service assigned for underage possession of alcohol in Texas must include alcohol education and/or treatment. The terms for deferred disposition for MIP are the same as the penalties for conviction. Deferred dispositions under this code will be considered a prior conviction for any subsequent violations.
Defending against these penalties for underage possession of alcohol is not just important to your immediate future. Having a MIP on your record can affect college applications, scholarships and grants, and your future employment opportunities. An experienced Georgetown MIP defense lawyer can fight to have your charges dismissed and to protect your immediate and distant future from such consequences.
Price & Twine, PLLC | Defense Attorney for Williamson County Minor in Possession of Alcohol
If you or your loved one has been arrested and charged with underage possession of alcohol or MIP in Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, or elsewhere in Williamson County, contact Price & Twine, PLLC to begin your defense immediately.
Experienced Georgetown criminal defense lawyers Michael J. Price knows what it takes to fight for a favorable outcome like a not guilty verdict or dismissed charges, and he will do whatever it takes to achieve that in your case. Your first consultation is free, so call (512) 354-1880 today and schedule yours.