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Will my driver license be suspended for a minor alcohol charge in Utah?

A conviction for possession/consumption/purchase of alcohol by a minor under Utah Code Ann. 32B-4-409 can result in having your driver license suspended for a year, or even longer.  Possession of alcohol by a minor is also considered a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and nearly $2,000 in fines plus surcharge.

If you are convicted of being a minor in possession of alcohol ("MIP"), the chances of serving jail time are relatively small when compared with other more serious crimes.  However, Utah law can require that the Driver License Division suspend your license for a year for a first conviction.  If you are convicted for a second offense, your license can be suspended for two years.  But there are ways to avoid having your license suspended.

The most sure way to avoid having your driver license suspended in a minor in possession case is to avoid being convicted in the first place.  If your attorney is able to negotiate a plea in abeyance agreement with the prosecutor, this can a conviction for possession of alcohol.  Since it is a criminal charge, you are also entitled to have a jury trial on the charges and require the prosecutor to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted.

If you are convicted of possession of alcohol by a minor, you may still be able to avoid losing your driver license for a year.  Under Utah Code Ann. 32B-4-409, the court can reduce the period of your driver license suspension on a first offense if you complete an alcohol educational series.

If you are facing charges for possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor, or other criminal charges, contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.  Stephen Howard is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City, helping clients throughout Utah.  His track record speaks for itself.


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  • 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.
  • Minor Possession Alcohol - MIP AttorneyDismissed - Minor in possession charge (MIP) was dismissed by prosecutor when defense analysis demonstrated that the police had failed to obtain necessary evidence against client. Police had raided a large party involving underage drinking. Several individuals were charged, but police did not obtain evidence showing that client had personally consumed or possessed alcohol. Case was dismissed.
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  • 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.
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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

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