Minor in Possession (MIP) in Seattle
A minor in possession (MIP) charge is often the first time an individual has made contact with a police officer. This can be a startling and often an unfortunate, eye-opening experience of what the legal system really is (both for the minor and the parents).
An MIP is a gross misdemeanor, which means the maximum penalty is 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. No one is going to receive the maximum unless there are extraordinary circumstances. However, in addition to potential jail and fines, minors also face license suspension, probation, drug and alcohol evaluations, and court-ordered treatment.
What is often confusing for minors and parents is the fact that the court’s interpretation of “possession” is rather lose. It covers more than simply being caught with a cup of beer in your hand. Possession can include possession of alcohol in your body, meaning that if you drank alcohol and they can prove it, that is sufficient.
Additionally, supplying alcohol to a minor also falls under the same statute. This means it is also punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. These types of charges often appear after a Washington State Liquor Control board sting.
If you or your child are facing an MIP charge, do not hesitate to give our office a call. We understand it can be a traumatic situation for all involved, and we are here to answer your questions. Our experienced Seattle, WA criminal defense attorneys will help everyone involved get through the process with as little stress as possible.