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What exactly does minor in possession mean?

Crimes involving minors are really very delicate in nature. In California, the goal with youth offenders is to provide rehabilitation rather than punishment. This does not mean, however, that criminal accusations against minors are not taken seriously. A minor in possession (MIP) charge, for example, is something that is not likely to be easily dismissed or simply glossed over as insignificant.

So, what exactly does minor is possession mean? Every state has laws regarding the possession of drugs and alcohol; this is nothing new. An MIP charge can be given to anyone who is underage and found with or trying to obtain a questionable substance. An example of this would be having alcohol or trying to purchase alcohol when not of legal age, or possessing drugs. Intent to use is irrelevant in these cases.

Those convicted of violating minor in possession laws may face a number of potential penalties. Some of these include detention, probation, community service and court ordered treatment programs. A license suspension may also be ordered. This suspension can last for a year, and can even be ordered for those who are first time offenders.

What can youth do if faced with a minor in possession charge? There are actually a variety of defenses that may be available to fight this type of charge. An experienced attorney can give further information about California MIP laws, and provide possible defense strategies that may best fit the situation. While cases involving minors are handled differently than those of adults, it is still possible to fight criminal charges and seek to achieve the best outcome possible for the circumstances.

Source: FindLaw, "MIP: A Minor in Possession", Accessed on July 27, 2015

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results