Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

The offense of possession of alcohol by a minor is more commonly known as minor in possession or MIP in Texas. Individuals under 21 years of age can face these types of charges for possessing alcoholic beverages or empty cups or other containers that had alcohol in them.

Convictions for these offenses can result in fines, driver’s license suspensions, and community service. Repeat violations can trigger increased penalties, any conviction can dramatically impact applications relating to college, scholarships, or possible employment.

Attorney for Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Arrests in Denton, TX

If you or your child were charged with a minor in possession offense in the greater Denton County area, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy aggressively defends all kinds of alleged juvenile offenders in Highland Village, Lewisville, Little Elm, The Colony, Argyle, Flower Mound, and many surrounding areas of Denton County.

Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Denton who fight to help clients achieve the most favorable outcomes to their cases resulting in the fewest possible penalties. You can have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call 940-222-8004 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.

Overview of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor in Denton County

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Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Charges in Texas

Under Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.05(a), a minor commits the Class C misdemeanor offense of possession of alcohol by a minor if he or she possesses an alcoholic beverage. Possession may be actual or constructive.

An alleged offender is in actual possession of an alcoholic beverage if that person has the alcoholic beverage on his or her person. Constructive possession involves an alleged offender having dominion and control over the alcoholic beverage and the ability to control the alcoholic beverage, such as alcohol in a minor’s automobile.

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.05(b) provides four scenarios in which minors can legally possess an alcoholic beverage:

  • while in the course and scope of the minor's employment if the minor is an employee of a licensee or permittee and the employment is not prohibited by this code;
  • if the minor is in the visible presence of his adult parent, guardian, or spouse, or other adult to whom the minor has been committed by a court;
  • if the minor is under the immediate supervision of a commissioned peace officer engaged in enforcing the provisions of this code; or
  • if the beverage is lawfully provided to the minor as an exception for certain course work.

Additionally, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.05(d) establishes that a minor cannot be charged with possession of alcohol by a minor if he or she:

  • requested emergency medical assistance in response to the possible alcohol overdose of the minor or another person;
  • was the first person to make a request for medical assistance; and
  • if the minor requested emergency medical assistance for the possible alcohol overdose of another person remained on the scene until the medical assistance arrived, and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel.

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Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Penalties in Denton County

As a Class C misdemeanor, a first possession of alcohol by a minor offense is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and a driver’s license suspension of 30 days. An alleged offender may also be ordered to attend an alcohol awareness course. Failure to complete the program an result in additional penalties.

If a minor is convicted or placed on deferred disposition for a minor in possession offense, he or she could also be ordered to perform a minimum of eight up to 12 hours of community service. Any subsequent offense can result in a minimum of 20 hours up to 40 hours of community service.

A second offense also results in a driver’s license suspension of 60 days, and two or more prior convictions make subsequent offenses punishable by driver’s license suspensions of 180 days. If an alleged offender has two or more prior convictions, he or she may be ordered to a pay a minimum fine of $250 up to $2,000 and/or sentenced to up to 180 days in jail.

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Texas Resources for Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Alcohol and Your Child | Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) — View a pamphlet from the TABC intended for parents to help them protect children from the problems associated with underage drinking. The pamphlet includes statistics, laws, and a list of helpful websites. You can also read about binge drinking, alcohol poisoning, and a strategy for parents.

Prevention | Texas Department of State Health Services — Visit this website to view “Underage Drinking: A Problem as Big as Texas,” a video produced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that was created as a tool to assist Texas communities in preventing the use and abuse of alcohol among youths. You can also learn more about Prevention Resource Centers (PRCs) that provide communities with prevention information, resources and expertise. Denton County is in Resource Center Region 3.

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Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Denton Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Defense Lawyer

Were you or your child recently charged with MIP anywhere in Denton County? Do not say anything to authorities until you have contacted Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Denton criminal defense attorneys Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton represent clients of all ages in communities throughout Denton County, including Little Elm, Lewisville, Highland Village, Flower Mound, Argyle, The Colony, and many others. Call 940-222-8004 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyers review your case and help you understand your legal options during a free initial consultation.

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A few months before I moved out of Texas, I was arrested for DWI. The problem was I was building a new life in another state with greater opportunities. I needed to find an attorney to handle my special situation being an out of state client who also travels out of the country. My case was in Denton County, which I have heard is a very difficult county to deal with. Because of my job I was in need of special accommodations from the court so I would not lose my career. After several months of tough negotiations with the DA, Richard and Brian were able to finalize my case beyond my expectations. I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who has run into some trouble anywhere they might get a DWI.

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