Utah Attorneys for Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor
A person under the age of 21 in Utah is considered to be a “minor” for purposes of many alcohol laws. Purchasing, consuming, or even simply possessing alcohol can result in criminal charges that can carry penalties including jail time, fines, and suspension of the person’s driver license. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is important. Contact us today to see how our team can help you.
Penalties for MIP Convictions in Utah
The crime of possession of alcohol by a minor is often referred to as “MIP” (minor in possession). The statute creating the crime covers more than just possession. Utah Code 32B-4-409 establishes criminal penalties for a person over the age of 18 but under the age of 21 who purchases, attempts to purchase, asks another to purchase, or possesses or consumes an alcoholic “product” (i.e., beverage).
The offense is typically filed as a class B misdemeanor and carries a potential sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine (including surcharge) of approximately $1,900. If a judge determines that all or part of the sentence should be suspended, the court can place the defendant on probation with conditions that will often include community service, substance abuse education or treatment, alcohol monitoring, or other conditions determined by the court to be appropriate.
Beyond the courtroom, a Utah MIP conviction can trigger a driver license suspension. A first conviction can result in up to a full year license suspension. A second conviction can result in an additional two-year suspension of driving privileges.
Finding an Attorney for MIP in Utah
MIP cases are usually handled through Utah’s justice court system, and are sometimes incorrectly viewed as insignificant. The consequences of a conviction, however, can last long after the courtroom processes are complete.
If you have been cited, arrested, or charged with possession or consumption of alcohol as a minor, contact us today to see what the right criminal defense team can do for you.
Real Results: Minor in Possession – Case Dismissed
Client was charged with consuming or possessing alcohol as a minor (20 years old). Police raided a party that was attended by a large number of underage individuals. Several people were given criminal citations and released by police.
Defense case analysis demonstrated to the prosecutor that police had failed to obtain or preserve evidence necessary to show that Client had personally consumed or possessed alcohol, or that Client had any actual knowledge of other individuals illegally consuming or possessing alcohol at the party.
Prosecutor agreed with the defense analysis and the case was dismissed by the court on motion of the prosecution.