While a minor in possession of alcohol charge may not seem like a serious criminal offense, it can have lasting consequences on a person’s life. A MIP conviction may not only limit your educational options, but it could also affect your employment and career prospects. Today, most employers conduct a criminal background check during the hiring process, and often will not hire someone if their record reveals a criminal conviction.
In an effort to reduce underage drinking, Missouri courts have become increasingly harsher in dealing with MIP offenders. In 2005, Missouri law enacted the new MIP “possession by consumption” law. The new MIP “possession by consumption” law expanded the old MIP law’s definition of “possession” to include “possession by consumption” and being “visibly intoxicated.” Under the new MIP law, a prosecutor no longer needs to demonstrate that an alcoholic beverage existed or that the minor was in possession of an alcoholic beverage. Now, a prosecutor only needs to demonstrate that the minor has consumed alcohol to gain a conviction.
Under the new Missouri law, minors (16-20 years old) who plead guilty to or are convicted of MIP will face the following punishments:
The Missouri MIP law allows a minor who has pleaded guilty to or found guilty of MIP for the first time to obtain a Court ordered expungement of all official records of his or her arrest, plea, trial and conviction. The “expungement” of a MIP is the court-ordered removal of all official records of the arrest, plea, trial, and conviction relating to the MIP. The legal effect of an expungement of a MIP is to restore the person’s legal status to that he or she had before the arrest, plea, trial or conviction of MIP, as if it never happened.
To obtain an expungement, a person must meet all three of the following requirements:
A minor in possession charge can have serious consequences and can negatively impact your job, your education, and your future. This charge should not be taken lightly. The St. Louis criminal defense attorneys of Henderson Law Group have represented individuals facing a wide variety of criminal charges, including MIP offenses. We understand the serious nature of these charges and the consequences involved. We will aggressively fight to protect your criminal record and driving privileges, while minimizing the long-term consequences of a MIP charge.