If you are accused of being a minor in possession or if your child is now facing those charges, it’s very important that you understand the defenses that could help you protect against penalties. Minor in possession charges are usually filed whenever a minor is caught in possession of alcohol, but there are times when it may be reasonable for them to have it in their possession as well as times when it may be legal for it to be in their possession.
There are three main defenses to minor in possession charges. These include:
- Alcohol being consumed as a part of a religious service
- Legal consumption of alcohol by a minor
- A lack of alcohol in the container
Here’s more information about each of these defenses.
Alcohol being consumed as a part of a religious service
Another way that you could defend against MIP accusations is if you can show that the alcohol was consumed as a part of a religious service. Most states do allow minors to drink alcohol as a part of a religious service, such as if they receive wine as a part of a religious tradition. It’s reasonable to contest the charges if you were drinking as a part of a protected tradition.
Legal consumption of alcohol by a minor
Finally, there are times when it’s legal for a minor to drink. By law, you have to be 21 to drink publicly in Texas. Texas is one of ten states, including states like Washington and Maryland, which allows minors to drink when they’re in the presence of consenting family members, such as their parents.
A lack of alcohol in the container
To start with, if a container is alleged to contain alcohol, the defendant, that’s you or your child, will need to prove that there was no alcohol in the container to use the first defense option.
Mistakes can be made. There are types of water that come in cans that look like alcohol. There are nonalcoholic beverages that taste and smell like alcohol, too. If you are able to show that the drink wasn’t alcoholic, then you may be able to get the charges dropped.
If you or your child are facing unfair minor in possession charges, you do have an opportunity to defend yourself. Doing so could help get those charges dropped.