“MIP” is a term commonly used to refer to Utah’s laws prohibiting the consumption or possession of alcohol by a minor. Even if police do not catch a person in the act of drinking or in actual possession of alcohol, just having a measurable concentration of alcohol (as measured by breath, blood, or urine tests) can under some circumstances result in the filing of charges.. While an MIP charge is “only” a misdemeanor, it is still a criminal charge that can become a part of a person’s official criminal history, it can show up on background checks, it can result in jail time and substantial fines, it can lead to a driver license suspension, and much more. It is a misdemeanor charge that should be taken seriously.
MIP Defense Lawyer Davis County
If you are facing prosecution in Davis County for MIP or other alcohol-related charges, having the right criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference. Contact us today to see how we can help you.
Elements of a Davis County MIP Charge
Utah criminal law prohibits possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor. The same statute also makes it a crime for a minor to have any measurable concentration of alcohol in his or her body, as determined by a breath, blood, or urine tests. (Charges based on a breath, blood, or urine test can be much more difficult for a prosecutor to prove. Contact us to learn why, and how this may help in defending your case..)
Age is only one element of an MIP charge. Simply proving that a defendant is under the age of 21 will not support a conviction. The prosecutor must also be able to prove that the defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed or consumed alcohol. A minor who discovers that someone has accidentally left behind a bottle of beer or a minor whose drink is “spiked” without his or her knowledge may be able to successfully defend against the prosecutor’s charge. Key in these cases is the issue of whether or not the minor knew of the alcohol and whether or not the minor acted intentionally to take possession, consume, or otherwise assume control over the alcohol.
Adults as “Minors” under Utah Alcohol Laws
For most purposes, including voting, military service, and criminal liability, a person is considered to be an adult at the age of 18. But for purposes of Utah’s laws governing consumption and possession of alcohol by a minor, a person is considered to be a minor until he/she reaches the age of 21. Utah law also considers a person over 18 but under the age of 21 to be a minor for purposes of criminal law relating to selling or providing alcohol, soliciting another person to purchase alcohol, purchasing, or attempting to purchase alcohol. More serious charges may be filed if a person is charged with providing alcohol to a child under the age of 18.
Consequences of MIP Conviction in Davis County
Often called “consumption by a minor,” “minor in possession,” or “MIP,” a conviction for this misdemeanor criminal offense in Davis County carries serious consequences including a suspended driver license, potential jail time, and substantial fines. Common probation conditions (if granted by the court) can include an alcohol education class, community service, or other terms deemed appropriate by the court. Even a first-time conviction is something that can stay on your criminal record and affect your life for years.