An experienced attorney can get your MIP ticket dismissed or reduced so you won’t have a conviction on your criminal record or driving record.
The Punishment For Minor In Possession Of Alcohol Can Include Jail Time
For a first-time offender who has been convicted of Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Missouri, the maximum punishment is:
- $300 fine
- No Possibility of Jail Time
If you have previously been charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol, the maximum punishment is:
- $1,000 fine and
- 1 year in jail
Your Driver’s License Can Be Suspended If You Are Convicted Of Minor In Possession of Alcohol
If you are charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol under Missouri’s “Abuse & Lose” law and you plead guilty, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days.
Your license will be revoked for 1 year if you plead guilty or are convicted of MIP for a 2nd time under the “Abuse & Lose” law.
An experienced attorney can review your case and tell you whether you are being charged under the “Abuse & Lose” law.
You can click here to read my previous blog post about how to get your driver’s license reinstated after pleading guilty to an MIP ticket.
An MIP Ticket Stays On Your Criminal Record and Driving Record Forever
Unfortunately, MIP tickets do not “drop off” of your record or “get sealed” after a certain number of years, or when you turn 21.
- An MIP ticket stays on your CRIMINAL RECORD forever unless you file a petition for expungement in court and the judge approves it
- An MIP ticket stays on your DRIVING RECORD forever unless you file a written request with the Missouri Department of Revenue asking for it to be removed
You Are Allowed To Expunge Only 1 MIP Ticket
Missouri allows you to expunge only 1 Minor in Possession of Alcohol conviction, and only if it’s a first-time offense.
FOR EXAMPLE: If you pleaded guilty to an MIP ticket at age 17, and then pleaded guilty to another MIP ticket 2 years later, neither the first nor the second MIP ticket would be eligible for expungement.
How To Get An MIP Ticket Removed From Your CRIMINAL RECORD
If you pleaded guilty to an MIP ticket and have had no other convictions on your criminal record since that time, you can hire an attorney to file a petition for expungement.
Your petition for expungement of your MIP ticket will be heard by the judge if you meet the following requirements:
- At least 1 year has passed since you reached the age of 21
- You have not been convicted of any other alcohol-related offenses since the original MIP conviction
- You did not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) when you received the MIP ticket
- You were not driving a commercial motor vehicle when you received the MIP ticket
The petition for expungement must be filed in the court in which you originally pleaded guilty. There will be a hearing before a judge, who will determine whether to grant your request to expunge your MIP conviction.
How To Get An MIP Ticket Removed From Your DRIVING RECORD
To get an old MIP ticket expunged (removed) from your driving record, you must mail a written request to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) in Jefferson City, Missouri. Click here to read the DOR’s requirements for expungement.
You are not eligible to have your MIP conviction expunged from your driving record until after you reach age 21 and at least 5 years have passed since your driver’s license was reinstated.
To read more about expungement of an MIP ticket, see my previous blog post “MIP Expungement – Remove The Record Of Your Minor In Possession of Alcohol Ticket.”
Don’t Plead Guilty To An MIP Ticket
Some people plead guilty to Minor in Possession of Alcohol because they don’t want to tell their parents they got the ticket and they can’t afford to hire an attorney without their parents’ financial assistance.
Be warned: If you plead guilty to an MIP ticket, you will have an alcohol-related conviction on your permanent criminal record, which will prevent you from getting a job or internship, renting an apartment, or being accepted into the college of your choice.
An Attorney Can Get Your MIP Ticket Dismissed Or Reduced To A Less Serious Offense
You can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain deal with the court to get your MIP charge either:
- Dismissed after a period of probation, or
- Reduced to a less serious offense such as “Littering”
An experienced attorney can review your case and give you an estimate of what they can do for you.
Some factors that the court will consider:
- Your age
- Your criminal history
- The amount of alcohol that was involved
- Your behavior toward the police officer who issued the MIP ticket
If the judge agrees to dismiss or reduce your Minor in Possession charge, you might have to do some or all of the following:
- Complete a 1-day alcohol education class
- Do a few hours of community service
- Pay a fine and court costs
- Make a donation to the local Law Enforcement Restitution Fund
- Serve a period of time on probation
How To Request A Public Defender To Represent You For Your MIP Ticket
If your MIP case is being prosecuted in state court and you can’t afford to hire a private attorney, you can contact the public defender’s office in the county in which your case is being prosecuted to see if you qualify for free representation. You will have to prove that you have no income and no family who can help you hire an attorney.
Unfortunately, public defenders do not represent defendants for misdemeanors in most municipal courts in Missouri, so you will have to hire a private criminal defense attorney if your case is being prosecuted in a municipal court.
For a free consultation about your MIP ticket, call St. Louis MIP lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at [email protected]