Get Your MIP Charge Reduced And Keep It Off Your Record

MIP Ticket

You can hire an attorney to get your MIP charge reduced or dismissed so it won’t show up on your criminal record or driving record.

An Attorney Can Get Your MIP Charge Reduced To “Littering” Or Dismissed

An experienced criminal defense attorney can get your MIP charge 1) reduced to a less serious offense, such as “Littering,” or 2) dismissed completely.

Your attorney can give you an estimate of the most likely outcome of your case, depending on these factors:

  • The Court – Which court is your case being prosecuted in? Where you got caught underage drinking makes a huge difference in the outcome of your MIP case because some courts are more strict than others.
  • Your Attorney – Does your attorney have experience handling MIP cases and are they familiar with the court in which your case is being prosecuted?
  • Your Criminal History – Do you have prior drug- or alcohol-related arrests, charges, or convictions on your criminal record?
  • Your Age – When will you be 21 years old?
  • Your behavior – Were you polite and respectful to the police officer?

The outcome of an MIP case can vary widely, depending on the factors listed above.

For example, if your MIP ticket is being prosecuted in a Municipal Court, your attorney may be able to get your MIP charge reduced to “Littering” after you pay a fine and court costs, with no court appearance required.

If your MIP ticket is being prosecuted in a Circuit Court, the best possible plea bargain deal may include probation, completion of an alcohol education class, community service, and/or payment of a donation to the local law enforcement restitution fund.

Why Did You Get an MIP Ticket If You Weren’t Drunk?

In Missouri, underage drinking is charged as a misdemeanor called “Minor in Possession of Alcohol” or “MIP.” Missouri’s Minor in Possession of Alcohol law is RSMO 311.325.

Police officers can issue a ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol if they catch you doing any of the following:

  • Buying or attempting to buy liquor
  • Possessing liquor
  • Acting intoxicated
  • Having a detectable blood alcohol content of more than .02% (two-hundredths of one percent) or more

You don’t have to be drunk to get an MIP ticket, and police officers don’t have to breathalyze you before giving you an MIP ticket.

Most Common Places Minors Get Caught Under Age Drinking

Some common places where police officers issue tickets for Minor In Possession of Alcohol:

  • Mardi Gras (at the parade, in bars, etc.)
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade
  • House Party
  • Parking Lot at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater before a concert
  • In a park late at night

Other examples:

A police officer sees you take a sip of a drink belonging to your friend (who is 21) in a bar or at an outdoor concert or sporting event, so they give you a ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol.

You are a passenger in a vehicle that gets pulled over for a traffic violation and the cop sees beer cans in the car, so everyone in the car who is under age 21 will get a ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol.

What Is Minor In Possession Of Alcohol By Consumption?

In addition to the standard Minor in Possession of Alcohol ticket, you can also be charged with “Minor in Possession of Alcohol by Consumption.”

The “consumption” means you don’t have any containers of alcohol in your possession, but you appear to be intoxicated.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol By Consumption is considered the same as a regular MIP ticket.

Just like a regular MIP ticket, you can get an “MIP By Consumption” ticket even if you are not drunk, and the police officer is not required to breathalyze you.

Penalties For Minor In Possession Of Alcohol In Missouri

If this is the first time you have been charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol, the maximum punishment is:

  • $300 fine
  • No Possibility of Jail Time

If you have been charged with MIP before, the maximum punishment is:

  • 1 year in jail and
  • $1,000 fine

Jail time is highly unlikely for a first-time offender, or for a repeat offender who hires an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent them.

Even if all you have to do is pay a fine, you will still have an alcohol-related conviction on your criminal record if you plead guilty to Minor in Possession of Alcohol. Having an MIP conviction can make it very difficult to get a job or internship, or be accepted into college.

You Can Lose Your Driver’s License If You Plead Guilty To Minor In Possession of Alcohol

Your driver’s license can be suspended for 90 days if you plead guilty or are convicted of Minor in Possession of Alcohol under Missouri’s “Abuse & Lose” law. If you plead guilty or are convicted of MIP for a 2nd time, the state can revoke your driver’s license for 1 year.

An MIP Conviction Stays On Your Record Forever

Many people incorrectly believe that an MIP conviction will eventually “drop off” of your record after a certain period of time has passed, or after you turn 21. This is not true.

  • An MIP conviction stays on your criminal record forever unless you file a petition for expungement in court
  • An MIP conviction stays on your driving record forever unless you request that it be removed

How To Get An MIP Conviction Expunged From Your Criminal Record

If you pleaded guilty to Minor in Possession of Alcohol but have had a clean record since then, you can file a petition in court to get a first-time MIP conviction expunged (removed) from your criminal record.

The petition for expungement must be filed in the court where you were sentenced, and there will be a hearing before a judge, who will decide whether to allow your MIP conviction to be expunged.

How To Get An MIP Conviction Expunged From Your Driving Record

To remove an old MIP conviction from your driving record, you must send a written request to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

You are eligible to have your MIP conviction removed from your driving record after you reach age 21 and at least 5 years have passed since your driver’s license was reinstated.

For more information about expungement of an MIP conviction, read my previous blog post “MIP Expungement – Remove The Record Of Your Minor In Possession of Alcohol Ticket.”

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If you need help getting your MIP charge reduced or dismissed, call St. Louis MIP lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at [email protected] for a free consultation about your case.

Penalty Reduced for Illinois Marijuana Possession

Possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana in Illinois is now punishable by just a citation and a fine of $100 to $200, but no jail time.

Penalty for Possession of Marijuana in Illinois

In the past, possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana in Illinois was a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,500 and up to 6 months in jail.

Expungement of Illinois Marijuana Possession Tickets

If you plead guilty to an Illinois pot possession ticket, you will have a drug-related conviction on your criminal record, which can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, and obtaining federal student loans for college.

However, Illinois will automatically expunge pot possession tickets twice a year, on January 1st and again on July 1st.

New Illinois Marijuana Law Reduces Possibility of Getting DUI After Smoking Weed

In the past, if you were caught driving in Illinois with even a trace of marijuana in your blood, you could be charged with a DUI, regardless of whether or not your driving skills were impaired.

Under the new Illinois law, if you are caught driving while under the influence of marijuana, police won’t charge you with a DUI unless 5 nanograms or more of THC in your blood (or 10 nanograms or more in your saliva) is detected.

Illinois Municipalities Can Increase the Penalty for Marijuana Possession

Cities and towns throughout Illinois can increase the fine amounts for marijuana possession, or they can add additional penalties, such as a requirement that defendants complete a drug education class in addition to paying the fine.

For more information, click here to read a recent Chicago Tribune article about the new Illinois marijuana law.


If you have been charged with possession of marijuana in MISSOURI and would like to get the charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, call MISSOURI marijuana attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected].

 

How to Get Your MIP (Minor in Possession of Alcohol) Ticket Dismissed or Reduced To a Lesser Offense

An attorney can help get your MIP (Minor in Possession of Alcohol) ticket dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, thus avoiding an MIP conviction on your criminal record and suspension of your driver’s license.

The outcome of your MIP case depends on:

  • Your past criminal history
  • Which court your case is being prosecuted in, and
  • The details of your specific case

If you plead guilty to a Minor in Possession of Alcohol charge, you will have an MIP conviction on your criminal record forever, which may prevent you from getting a job or being accepted into college.

How Can an Attorney Help You Fight Your MIP Ticket?

You will need an attorney to represent you if you want to fight your MIP ticket.

Your attorney may be able to convince the Prosecutor to amend your MIP charge to “Littering” and only require you to pay a fine and court costs, with no court appearance required.

Other Missouri courts are more strict and will require you to serve probation, do community service, and possibly complete an alcohol education class.

What Does “Minor in Possession of Alcohol” Mean?

Missouri police officers issue tickets to minors for MIP when they believe a person under age 21 is guilty of misdemeanor “Minor in Possession” or “Possession by Consumption” by doing the following:

  • purchasing or attempting to purchase intoxicating liquor,
  • possessing any intoxicating liquor,
  • appearing to be visibly intoxicated, or
  • having a detectable blood alcohol content of more than two-hundredths of one percent or more

What’s the Penalty For an MIP in Missouri?

For a first-time MIP charge in Missouri, the maximum penalty is a $300 fine. For a 2nd MIP conviction, the maximum penalty is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

In addition, your driver’s license can be suspended for 90 days if you are charged under the Missouri “Abuse & Lose” law.

MIP Convictions Don’t Automatically Get Expunged Once You Turn 21

Contrary to popular belief, MIP convictions are not automatically removed from your criminal record once you turn 21. A petition for expungement must be filed with the court, and the judge must approve it, before the record of your MIP can be removed.

Your best option is to hire an attorney to represent you for the MIP ticket, rather than pleading guilty to the MIP charge and then hiring an attorney later to expunge the record of your MIP.

How To Get an MIP Conviction Expunged

To get a first-time MIP conviction expunged from Missouri court records, hire an attorney to file a petition for expungment in court. The petition for expungement can not be filed until either 1 year has passed since the conviction date or you have turned age 21, whichever comes first.

Once a petition for expungement of your MIP has been filed in court, there will be a hearing in front of a judge. Your attorney will have to prove that there are no other alcohol-related convictions or law enforcement contacts on your criminal record since your original MIP conviction.


If you have received a ticket in Missouri for MIP (Minor in Possession of Alcohol) and would like to get a price quote for legal representation, call St. Louis MIP lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected].

No Legal Limit for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Missouri

In Missouri, you can be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) if your driving is impaired, regardless of the amount of drugs found in your body.

Unlike a DWI, There is No Legal Limit of Drugs Required Before Police Can Charge You With Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

According to Section 577.010 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, you are considered guilty of the crime of DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) if you drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When the DWI involves drugs, it is called a DUI or DUID. The legal limit for a DWI for alcohol is .08, but for drugs, there is no limit. Any amount of drugs that impairs your driving is enough for a DUID conviction.

Because of the “Implied Consent” law in Missouri, the police do not need your permission to test your blood, breath, saliva, or urine for traces of drugs or alcohol. If you refuse to be tested, your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year.

Non-Prescription Medicine Can Impair Your Ability to Drive

If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, it doesn’t matter if the drugs that caused your impaired driving are legal or illegal, prescription or non-prescription; it could be cocaine, or medicine that your doctor prescribed for you, or something you bought over the counter at a grocery store for a cold or flu.

DUI Drug Convictions Stay on Your Criminal Record and Your Missouri Driving Record Forever

In Missouri, a first-time conviction for a misdemeanor DWI (alcohol) or a first-time conviction for an MIP (Minor in Possession) can be expunged (removed or deleted) from your criminal record, if you meet certain criteria outlined in section 577.054 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. Unfortunately, Missouri does not allow a conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs to be expunged, so it will remain permanently on your criminal record and your Missouri driving record.

You may be surprised to discover what other types of convictions remain permanently on your Missouri driving record and are never eligible for removal. See my previous blog post regarding what types of convictions stay on your Missouri driving record forever.

If you are interested in reading about the requirements you must meet to have an MIP or DWI conviction expunged from your permanent criminal record, see my previous blog post about expungement of Missouri DWI and MIP convictions.

The Penalties for DUID and DWI Are the Same in Missouri

The potential penalties are the same for a first-time conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs as for a DWI in Missouri: you can be sentenced to as much as 6 months in prison, you can be forced to pay a fine of up to $500, and you can lose your driving privileges. If you hire an attorney who successfully negotiates a plea bargain with the court to reduce the DUID or DWI charge to a lesser offense, you will still have to pay a fine and court costs, serve 1-2 years of probation, perform community service, and complete a substance abuse program called SATOP before your driver’s license will be reinstated.

The Same Amount of Points Are Added to Your Missouri Driving Record for DWI and Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

A DUID conviction in Missouri carries the same amount of points as a DWI conviction. If it’s your first offense, 8 points are added to your Missouri driving record if you are convicted of DUID. For subsequent convictions, 12 points are added to your driving record.

Your Driver’s License Will be Suspended or Revoked if You Have Too Many Points on Your Missouri Driving Record

If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year. If 8 points are assessed against your driving record within 18 months, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days (if it’s your first suspension). Your license will be suspended for 60 days if it’s your 2nd suspension. For a 3rd suspension, the suspension lasts 90 days. After the suspension period ends, you will have to go through the process of getting your driver’s license reinstated. Click on the following page of my website to read about how to get your Missouri driver’s license reinstated.

To find out how long points stay on your Missouri driving record, and how to get them removed, see my previous blog post titled, “Speeding Ticket Points Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record for Only 18 Months.”

Possession of Drugs or Drug Paraphernalia Convictions Stay on Your Criminal Record Forever But Do Not Affect Your Missouri Driving Record

Unlike a conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, a conviction for possession of drugs (such as marijuana) or drug paraphernalia (a pipe) does not affect your Missouri driving record at all. If a police officer pulls you over while you are driving and finds marijuana, a pipe, or a bong in your car, you may be charged with possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia. If you are convicted of those charges, the convictions will stay on your criminal record forever and can not be expunged, but no points will be added to your Missouri driving record. See my previous blog post about drug possession convictions that stay on your Missouri driving record forever.

As with many other types of criminal charges, you can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to have your drug possession or drug paraphernalia charges reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.” You will have to pay a fine and court costs, but the drug possession convictions won’t show up on your permanent criminal record.

For links to more information about Missouri courts, DWI, points, or other issues related to traffic tickets and their effect on your Missouri driving record, see the Traffic Law Resources page on my website.

See the following blog posts for information about St. Louis red light camera tickets or the A.R.C. Zone (Accident Reduction Corridor or Travel Safe Zone) speeding tickets currently being issued in north St. Louis County.

Some Drug and Alcohol Convictions Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record Forever

The following drug & alcohol-related convictions stay on your Missouri driving record forever:

    • DUI/DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
    • DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs)
    • Excessive BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)

Please Note:  It is possible to get a first-time DUI conviction expunged after 10 years of good behavior. (See below for further information regarding expungement of a first-time DUI.)

Types of Convictions That Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record Forever

In a previous blog post about convictions that stay on your driving record forever, I listed the types of convictions that remain permanently on your Missouri driving record. In addition to DUI, DUID, and Excessive BAC, the following convictions stay on your Missouri driving record forever and are not eligible for removal:

    • No Insurance
    • No Driver’s License (state, not municipal)
    • Vehicular Manslaughter
    • Driving While Suspended or Revoked
    • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (state, not municipal)
    • Any Felony

What is Expungement?

Expungement is the removal or deletion of all court records of your arrest, plea, trial or conviction. The only types of alcohol-related convictions that are eligible for expungement in Missouri are first-time DUI or MIP convictions. The option of expungement is not available for felony DUIs or for anyone convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

How to Get a First-Time DUI Conviction Expunged

Missouri law allows anyone who pleaded guilty to, or was convicted of, a first-time misdemeanor DUI to apply to have the court expunge (remove or delete) the DUI charge 10 years after the offense occurred, as long as the individual has had no other alcohol-related driving convictions, “alcohol-related enforcement contacts,” or any pending “alcohol-related enforcement actions” within the 10-year period since the conviction. See Missouri statute RSMo 302.525.3 for an explanation of what is an alcohol-related law enforcement contact.

If a judge finds that you meet these requirements, then the court will enter an order of expungement, and all records of your DUI arrest, plea, trial, or conviction will be deleted.

How to Get an MIP Conviction Expunged

For a first-time MIP conviction to be expunged, you must show that you have had no other alcohol-related convictions or “alcohol-related enforcement contacts” since the original MIP conviction, and that you are applying for expungement at least 1 year after the original conviction date, or after you have reached age 21.

Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia Convictions Stay on Your Criminal Record Forever and Can Not be Expunged

If a police officer pulls you over for a traffic stop and charges you with possession of drugs (marijuana) or drug paraphernalia (such as a pipe) and you are convicted of those charges, no points will be added to your Missouri driving record for that conviction. However, a conviction for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia will remain on your criminal record forever.

An Attorney May be Able to Get Your Drug Possession Charges Reduced to a Lesser Offense

When facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, you can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to get your drug charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, so they won’t show up on your permanent criminal record. Keep in mind that your chances of success are not as good if you have multiple prior drug-related convictions on your record.

The outcome of your case depends on which court your case is being prosecuted in, your criminal history, and the details of your specific case.

While expungement is an option for some first-time DWI or MIP convictions, drug-related convictions can never be expunged from your Missouri criminal record.

The Court May Order You to Attend “ADEP” or “SATOP” Class

If your attorney is able to get your drug possession charges reduced to a lesser offense, you will have to pay a fine and court costs, and you may also be required to take a court-ordered class, such as “ADEP” (Alcohol and Drug Education Program) or “SATOP” (Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program).

Depending on the facts of your case, you may be offered an “SIS” (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) and 1 or 2 years of unsupervised probation. With an “SIS,” no conviction is entered on your permanent record if you successfully complete your period of probation without any further convictions.

If You Have Already Pleaded Guilty to Drug Possession Charges, an Attorney May be Able to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea

If you have already pleaded guilty to drug charges, it may be possible for an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain with the court to have your drug charges reduced to a lesser offense.

However, if too much time has passed since your guilty plea, or if you were originally represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty, the court may not allow the withdrawal. For more information, go to the Withdrawal of Guilty Plea page on my website.


If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia and would like a price quote for legal representation, contact St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected].

[This post was updated on November 11, 2013.]