Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409. We fight to protect your rights.
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.

RELATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE TOPICS



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 AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • 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.
  • 402 Reduction Lawyer Utah 2-Step Reduction - Client needed a two-step reduction to bring a prior conviction to the misdemeanor level. Collection of substantial evidence of reform and rehabilitation convinced a normally reluctant prosecutor to stipulate to the defense 402 reduction motion.
  • 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 Statewide Warrant Search How do I find out if I have an outstanding warrant? - If you believe you may have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah, a criminal defense attorney can access the Utah statewide warrant system and help you find the best. . . .
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

Aggressive is good. Effective is better. The best defense strategy in any given criminal case can require in-depth analysis of the facts and a thorough understanding of applicable statutes, case law, and complex procedural and evidentiary rules. Having an experienced attorney on your side....

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

In Utah, even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. A felony conviction carries the potential of lengthy prison terms and the various consequences that come with being labeled as a convicted felon. Never plead guilty without first finding out....

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.