Minor in Possession of Alcohol Tickets Can Be Dismissed or Reduced To a Lesser Offense

To get your Minor in Possession of Alcohol ticket dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, you will need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight your MIP charge in court.

An Attorney Can Fight Your MIP Ticket

An experienced attorney can convince the Prosecutor to amend your Minor in Possession of Alcohol ticket to “Littering” and only require you to pay a fine and court costs, or possibly dismiss your MIP ticket after you complete an alcohol education class and/or do a few hours of community service and pay court costs.

The outcome of your MIP case depends on:

  • Which court your case is being prosecuted in
  • Your age
  • Your criminal history
  • Whether you were charged under the “Abuse & Lose” law
  • The skill and experience of the attorney who is representing you
  • The specific details of your case

When Can Police Issue a Ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol?

The blood alcohol limit is .02 in Missouri for underage drinking, but a police officer can issue an MIP ticket without administering a breathalyzer test if you are under age 21 and:

  • The police officer believes you are visibly intoxicated
  • The police officer sees that you possess intoxicating liquor
  • There is evidence that you purchased or attempted to purchase intoxicating liquor

Common situations in which a police officer will issue a ticket for Minor in Possession of Alcohol:

  • Liquor Store – You are underage and try to buy wine or liquor
  • Traffic Stop – Police pull you over for a traffic violation and see a beer can or liquor bottle in your vehicle
  • Concert – Undercover police officer sees you drinking alcohol in the parking lot before attending a concert
  • Mardi Gras/St. Patrick’s Day Parade/4th of July Celebration – Police officer sees you drinking alcohol at a public outdoor event
  • House Party – You are at a house party and the police show up and issue MIP tickets to everyone at the party who seems intoxicated

PLEASE NOTE:  Other charges involving underage drinking, such as “Providing Alcohol to a Minor” and “Using a Fake I.D.” are sometimes considered more serious than Minor in Possession of Alcohol tickets by prosecutors and judges.

Don’t Plead Guilty To Minor in Possession of Alcohol

Many people incorrectly believe that an MIP charge will automatically “drop off” of their criminal record after the defendant reaches age 21. This is not true. Pleading guilty will cause you to have a conviction for Minor in Possession of Alcohol on your permanent criminal record forever, until you hire an attorney to petition the court to have it expunged.

Having an alcohol-related conviction on your criminal record can prevent you from getting a job and may negatively affect your chances of being accepted into the college of your choice.

A First-Time MIP Conviction Can Be Expunged After You Plead Guilty

If you already pleaded guilty to Minor in Possession of Alcohol, you can hire an attorney to expunge the MIP conviction from your criminal record. Here is some important information if you are considering hiring an attorney to expunge your MIP conviction:

  • Defendants are allowed only 1 expungement pursuant to RSMO 311.326
  • Your attorney must file a petition to expunge your MIP conviction in the court where you were sentenced
  • There will be a hearing in front of a judge
  • If the judge agrees to the expungement, the records of your MIP arrest, plea, trial, and conviction will all be expunged
  • The petition to expunge your MIP conviction can’t be filed until after a period of not less than 1 year after you reach age 21

Expunging the conviction after you have pleaded guilty to MIP is more expensive than hiring a lawyer to get the MIP charge dismissed or reduced when you were first charged. Also, there is no guarantee that the judge will agree to expunge your MIP conviction.

Jail Time Is Possible For Repeat MIP Offenders

For first-time offenders charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Underage Drinking in Missouri, the maximum fine is $300 with no possibility of jail time.

If you get charged with MIP a second time, it’s considered a class A misdemeanor and the maximum punishment is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

A Minor in Possession of Alcohol Ticket Can Cause You To Lose Your Driver’s License

If you are charged with MIP under Missouri’s “Abuse & Lose” law, your driver’s license can be suspended for 90 days if it’s your first offense. The suspension of your license is in addition to the fine and possible jail time (if you have prior convictions on your criminal record). You can call the court  clerk or ask your attorney to determine if you have been charged under the “Abuse & Lose” law.

Contact the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 751-4475 or go to their website if you have questions about how to get reinstated after your license was suspended due to an MIP conviction.

How Long Does an MIP Conviction Stay On Your Record?

An MIP conviction stays on your criminal record forever, unless you hire an attorney to expunge it.

In addition, an MIP conviction remains on your driving record for 5 years after your license reinstatement date, and then you must send a written request to the Missouri Department of Revenue asking them to remove it from your driving record.


Call St. Louis criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation about your case and get a flat-fee price quote for how much she will charge to represent you. Or email Andrea at arogers@rogerslawfirmllc.com

 

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 andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com.