There are many crimes throughout our country’s history that have been met with a collective societal disregard. During the prohibition era, for example, you could find politicians, cops, and doctors throughout speakeasies even though Alcohol had been banned. That’s not to say that people should be encouraged to break the law but, some laws have punishments ‘on the books’ that are not often handed down. Another example is underage drinking. Throughout the US, including Alabama, drinking under the age of 21 is illegal. This law is broken every day. However, if an officer decides to shut down a college party, a person could find themselves with a ‘Minor in Possession (MIP)’ charge. Luckily for many people who have faced this dilemma, an MIP is not a felony. In Alabama, including Tuscaloosa (University of Alabama), an MIP is a Class C Misdemeanor. Alabama law states that a Class C Misdemeanor can be met with up to $500 in fines and 3 months in jail and a license suspension. Most MIP cases do not end up with a person in jail, especially for first-time offenders. However, even an MIP case can have someone’s criminal record permanently marked. There are ways to mitigate the worst consequences of an MIP and without an attorney, by your side, you could face heavy confusion.
As mentioned above, an MIP charge is for the most part a Class C Misdemeanor. If a person has been previously charged with an MIP then it can turn into a worse offense like a Class B Misdemeanor. Other alcohol offenses can also come with misdemeanor charges. Many times one of the most common offenses is that of Adults (those over 21 years of age) to allow minors to drink on their premises. This is a Class B Misdemeanor. A simple “I didn’t know they were under 21” will not cut it. Class B Misdemeanors carry up to $2,000 in fines and/or 6 months in jail.
Simply put, while these offenses and consequences are not life-or-death situations, the penalties involved should be taken seriously. These charges do not usually end up with people going to jail but some longer-term consequences are very possible. Misdemeanor convictions can end up permanently marring a person’s criminal record. Having a mark on a criminal record may have life-altering repercussions. With a criminal record, it can be difficult to get into graduate programs, medical programs, and law programs. Retaining scholarships might be harder. Additionally, a criminal record may affect employment and housing opportunities.
Contact Attorney Travis Juneau TodayYou have legal options and constitutionally guaranteed rights. It’s important to contact a criminal defense attorney who knows how to best represent you. Acting quickly is crucial so don’t hesitate to contact us today. Learn more about Attorney Travis Juneau.