Minor in Possession (MIP) in Bellevue
A minor in possession charge is often the first time a minor has ever been contacted by a police officer and gotten into trouble. It can be a stressful situation for both the minor and his or her parents. We are here to answer your questions and help you move on with your life without having a criminal conviction following you as you graduate and search for a job.
An MIP charge is a gross misdemeanor, which means the maximum penalty is 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Additional penalties may include probation, court and administrative fees, community service, and court ordered classes. In certain circumstances, an MIP conviction will also result in a license suspension.
Unfortunately, many minors do not understand that there is not safety in numbers. Groups of minors will often attract attention to them. It is very common for the police to break up a house party and cite multiple minors for MIP. Similarly, drinking in a group at a park at night will also attract the attention of the police.
The police do not necessarily have to actually catch you with a drink in your hand. Simply having the smell of alcohol emanating from your mouth and being near alcohol could be sufficient. It is also common for minors to admit to drinking when confronted by the police, which will be used against them.
If you or your child is facing a minor in possession charge, do not hesitate to give us a call at our Bellevue, Washington, office. Our firm's skilled criminal defense lawyers will be more than happy to discuss your situation and answer your questions.