Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our criminal defense team can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

Minor in Possession of Alcohol - Utah Criminal Defense

Utah Defense Attorney for MIP in Davis County

It is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol under Utah law. Criminal charges can also be brought against a minor based on a finding of any concentration of alcohol in the body as measured by blood, urine or breath tests. A charge for "minor in possession" (sometimes referred to as "MIP") is a misdemeanor criminal offense with serious potential consequences including jail time, heavy fines, a suspended driver license, and more. Contact Davis County criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard today to see what the right attorney can do for you.

Adults as "Minors" under Utah Alcohol Laws

Utah Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) Attorney Salt LakeFor most purposes, any person over the age of 18 is legally considered to be an adult. However, in Utah, when it comes to the consumption or possession of alcohol, a person is still considered a “minor” until age 21.

Utah law makes it illegal for any minor (a person under the age of 21) to consume, purchase, attempt to purchase, or ask another person to purchase alcohol. An adult who provides alcohol to a minor can also be charged with a crime.

Evidence of a Crime - Minor in Possession in Davis County

In some Utah MIP cases, police catch the suspected minor "in the act" - they have a can or bottle of beer in their hand. But in many Utah MIP cases, police and prosecutors base their case on evidence that the minor had previously consumed alcohol. By the time police arrive at the scene, bottles, cans, etc. may have already been disposed of. Or, police may find the suspected minor in a location other than where it is alleged that the minor consumed the alcohol.

In such cases, police may use the minor's own admissions against him/her. Police may also request consent to administer a breath test, or to take a blood or urine sample to test for alcohol.

The Fifth Amendment guarantees the privilege against self-incrimination. This means that you are not obligated to answer questions posed by a police officer (other than telling the officer your true name). If a police officer wants to question you regarding possible consumption of alcohol, you are free to politely decline to answer questions or make any statement.

The Fourth Amendment provides guarantees against unreasonable warrantless searches and seizures. Breath, blood, or urine tests for alcohol have been found by Utah courts to fall under the protection of the Fourth Amendment. If the police officer does not have a warrant, you are free to decline a request to submit to one of these tests. (Note that Utah's implied consent law regarding driving, DUI, and driver licenses does not apply to cases only involving allegations of possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor.)

If police have violated your Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights in conducting their investigation, a motion to suppress evidence may be appropriate. The likelihood of success on a motion to suppress will depend on the specific facts of your case. Small differences in the facts can make a big difference in the potential outcome. The assistance of an experienced criminal attorney can help you determine the best strategy for defending your case and protecting your rights.

Driver License Suspensions for Minor in Possession in Davis County

Your driver license can be suspended if you are convicted of possessing or consuming alcohol as a minor - even if a vehicle was never involved in the offense. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it is sometimes possible to avoid a driver license suspension entirely. But if you have already had your license suspended for a first-time MIP charge, it may be possible to have the duration of the suspension decreased.

Find a Utah MIP Defense Lawyer in Davis County

Salt Lake Open Container Alcohol LawyerIf you are facing prosecution in Davis County for possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor, or other misdemeanor or felony charges, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can be critical to achieving the best outcome for your case. Contact us today to see how we can help.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing handgun at and threatening another driver during a road rage incident. Defense investigation and analysis, combined with effective cross-examination at trial indicated the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and suported client's self-defense claim. Jury acquitted client at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client was facing multiple cases involving first-degree felony drug distribution charges for allegedly selling to a confidential informant. Defense analysis of the case revealed fatal flaws in the prosecution case that ultimately resulted in a complete dismissal of all cases and charges.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Expungement - Worked to restore client's expungement eligibility through 402 reduction process, then filed successful expungement petitions in multiple courts obtaining expungement orders and clearing client's official criminal history.
  • Utah Burglary Defense Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with second-degree felony residential burglary and facing potential prison time. Investigation by the defense revealed multiple witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. At trial, the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict on all charges.
  • Recent Posts
  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • Utah Misdemeanor Attorney Salt Lake Can I handle a Utah misdemeanor from out-of-state? - Even if you do not intend to take your case to trial, a misdemeanor criminal offense in Utah can require multiple court appearances to reach a resolution. If you have been charged with a crime in Utah, but are not a Utah resident, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you resolve the case without returning to the state. . . .
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

Successfully defending against criminal prosecution requires more than just an 'aggressive' defense. The best defense attorneys understand that a sophisticated defense requires a thorough understanding of a variety of nuanced legal issues, real experience in the courtroom, good negotiation skills, and much more. Fighting hard is good. Fighting smart is better....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your Utah criminal case may be the single most important decision you make. The courtroom can be a hostile place. Prosecutors receive extensive training on legal and tactical issues. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side is critical to defending your case and protecting your rights....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

A Utah criminal prosecution can result in a lifetime of consequences. Beyond jail and prison, a conviction can affect many areas of life, including employment, housing, finances, family, and much more. Never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal attorney. Understanding what is at stake is the first step....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Never give up hope. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. And it is usually not the end of the world. While the consequences of a criminal charge can be serious, there are often several options and strategies for handling your case. Understanding your options and how an experienced criminal lawyer can help....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.