“But everyone has a fake ID!”
It’s a cliché, but it’s true: just because “everyone” does it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The legal drinking age in Georgia is 21. That means that no one under this age may possess alcoholic beverages. However, there’s actually a bit more to it than that. There are actually five specific actions that are prohibited by law when it comes to underage persons and alcohol. They are:
Typically, if you are under 21 these charges are considered misdemeanors, although they can become aggravated misdemeanors depending on the circumstances. It’s important to understand that just because something is a misdemeanor doesn’t mean it’s not serious. A conviction can lead to fines, jail time and other conditions including suspension of your driver’s license. You may also be required to complete a Georgia Risk Reduction Program (a.k.a. DUI School) within 120 days of being convicted.
Now that you understand the severity of the situation, you may be wondering what your options are if you or your child is facing a minor in possession (MIP) related charge. Fortunately, the state of Georgia provides alternatives to guilty pleas for first offenders. We will do everything possible to keep your minor in possession charge off your record.
Your initial fear and focus when dealing with a minor in possession alcohol charge may be on the short-term. You may be focused on keeping your license so that you can get to school and work. You may want to avoid fines so that you can afford next semester’s tuition bill. However, when it comes to MIP charges, it’s important to keep the long-term in mind as well.
Keeping your criminal record clear of convictions will be important when you are interviewing for your first “real” job after graduation and they ask you, “have you ever been convicted of a crime?” Perhaps you are hoping for a career in education, law enforcement, or another field where a background check is standard for new hires. A conviction would force you to change your plans, and depending on how far along you are in school, a change of major can tack years of coursework and thousands of dollars in tuition onto your education.
An experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney may be able to help you avoid conviction of a minor in possession charge, especially if this is your first offense. We do not rush through cases, but take our time to build a thorough and complete defense on behalf of each client. We have experience and a reputation for success in MIP cases. The prosecution knows who we are. If you or your child is facing a minor in possession charge in Cobb County, contact us for a free consultation.