Minor in Possession Lawyer in College Station, Texas, Providing a Zealous Defense for Underage Alcohol Charges
Minor in possession charges arise when an individual under the age of 21 is arrested for illegally having alcohol in their possession. These citations typically occur at parties, nightclubs, or while riding in a vehicle containing alcohol. While a minor is allowed to be near alcohol, he or she is not allowed to consume, purchase, or make contact with alcohol, including in constructive possession situations.
We understand how frightening it is to learn of your child’s brush with the law. As a parent, you may be worried about their future. If convicted, a minor in possession (MIP) charge can have serious negative consequences, such as being unable to attend the college of their choice, being denied security clearances, and having a permanent criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their life.
The Greening Law Group understands that sometimes college students under the age of 21, along with minors, make poor choices by being at the wrong place at the wrong time and end up being charged with underage drinking, constructive possession, or, even worse, drug possession charges. This is not a time to trust your child’s future to just any criminal defense attorney. You need the help of an experienced minor in possession lawyer in College Station, Texas.
Contact The Greening Law Group and ask for a free consultation to discuss criminal charges against your child. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have and get started on building a strong defense for your case.
What Actions are Considered to be Constructive Possession?
The state of Texas is very clear on the laws that surround underage drinking and many of the criminal charges that often accompany it. While most individuals are aware that minors are not allowed to possess alcohol, they often are not aware of laws that constitute what is known as a “constructive possession charge.” Some examples include the following:
- Holding a friend’s beer
- Picking up empty beer cans and cups
- Sitting next to alcohol in your car
However, there are exceptions to the law that include:
- A minor is permitted to possess or purchase alcohol under the supervision of a law enforcement officer who is attempting to enforce minor in possession laws. Often the police will have minors attempt to purchase alcohol from a store to see if they are in compliance with asking for ID because of their age.
- If a minor is in the proximity of a parent, legal guardian, or spouse and is within a visible presence, then the law does not apply.
- There are some types of employment in which a minor is permitted to possess alcohol if it is considered to be part of their job duties. The law of constructive possession does not apply in these types of scenarios if the employer follows the regulations and guidelines stipulated by the state.
If your minor-aged child has been charged with constructive possession, you need representation from a law firm that values each attorney-client relationship and will be certain to advise you of all the developments in your case.
Talk to one of our College Station, Texas, minor in possession attorneys for a hard-hitting defense. We will fight to protect your child and their future.
FREE case consultations are available.
What are the Penalties for a Minor in Possession in Texas
Texas laws are strict when it comes to underage drinking. As a result, minors facing alcohol charges can be subjected to severe penalties. A minor in possession charge is considered to be a Class C Misdemeanor. Misdemeanors of this nature are punishable by a fine of up to $500 and a suspension of their driver’s license. In addition to the fine, the court typically orders the offender to perform community service, which usually ranges anywhere from 8 to 40 hours. Along with all of the other basic requirements, the court most likely will order mandatory participation in an alcohol awareness course.
If the minor in question is a repeat offender, the fine can be increased up to a maximum of $2,000, along with the possibility of 180 days of jail time. Parents and minors alike should be aware of the fact that even a seemingly insignificant criminal conviction for a minor in possession of alcohol can haunt the offender for the rest of their life.
Before you decide that the punishment is not too severe and think that perhaps you should just pay the fine and deal with the other penalties, consider having to explain this criminal conviction for the rest of your life to potential employers, on college applications, as well as when attempting to obtain housing.
One of the best steps that you can take to protect your child into adulthood is to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss a minor in possession charge. Contact The Greening Law Group and get started on your criminal defense strategy as soon as possible.
How Will You Fight to Protect My Child’s Future?
At The Greening Law Group, our main priority is to keep your child from having to serve jail time. In addition, as stated previously, we are also passionately committed to protecting his or her record from affecting any future opportunities that they may have when applying to colleges, scholarships, and jobs.
We can explore a number of options, including diversion or deferred sentencing. These options have been put into place to allow youthful offenders the opportunity to have a criminal conviction for underage drinking or constructive possession to not be on their permanent record.
Diversion programs for minors were designed as sentencing alternatives in lieu of more serious penalties. Allowing the minor offender opportunities for self-improvement and awareness are preferred over the more traditional forms used to punish those who broke the law in the past. Diversion programs are also highly effective in being able to reduce the chances of offenders repeating the same criminal offenses in the future.
When your child completes the terms of the sentence, then the conviction is essentially dismissed and sealed from the public and only accessible by law enforcement agencies under certain conditions.
In Texas, this is also known as “deferred prosecution”. Deferred prosecution is a procedure that allows charges to be dismissed after successfully completing a term of probation. One positive aspect of this type of agreement is that the offender is not required to admit that they are guilty of a criminal offense. The program works by essentially pausing all criminal proceedings against the minor offender while they attempt to complete probation. If they successfully complete all of the terms of their probation, the criminal charges against them are dropped. As a result, there is no record of their offense.
Why Should I Choose The Greening Law Group for My Child’s Legal Issues?
Our founder, College Station, Texas, Criminal Defense Attorney Craig Greening, is a former prosecutor and law enforcement insider who spent years navigating the criminal justice system. He understands how the law approaches cases involving minors and alcohol and is ready to use his years of seasoned knowledge and proven defenses to help your child get through this difficult time.
The Greening Law Group understands that sometimes law enforcement officers are quick to pass judgment on minors, especially when it concerns an alcoholic beverage or other issues related to underage drinking. Because of their overzealousness in wanting to enforce the laws, police officers often actually create a case for reasonable doubt, especially in the area of constructive possession.
We understand that minor-age children often make poor choices that can negatively affect them for the rest of their lives. We strive to protect both their reputation and their ability to thrive as healthy, productive adults in society.
We are ready to listen to you. Call 979-779-2000 to schedule a FREE consult. You may also reach out to us on our website or via email.