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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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“MIP Charge” – What is it and does it stay on my record?

By Spodek Law Group | February 13, 2023

Understanding “MIP” Charges: Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Marijuana

What is a “MIP” Charge?

“MIP” refers to the criminal offense of “minor in possession” of alcohol or marijuana. If you are under 21 years of age and have alcohol or marijuana in your possession or control in public, you could potentially face a misdemeanor charge.

The Consequences of a MIP Conviction

In most jurisdictions, a MIP conviction can stay on your criminal record indefinitely. However, if you can get the charge dismissed, you may avoid a criminal record. A criminal defense attorney can help you with this by raising a legal defense on your behalf.

If you do receive a conviction, it may be possible to get it removed from your record through an expungement. To do so, most jurisdictions allow you to file for an expungement in the court that sentenced you for the MIP offense, if you are eligible.

Penalties for MIP Violations

Most states consider possessing alcohol by a minor as a misdemeanor offense, with possible penalties such as a fine, hours of community service, and completion of an alcohol education course for a first offense. A first-time MIP violation can even result in a driver’s license suspension or a delay in obtaining driving privileges.

A second offense usually results in increased fines and hours of community service, but typically not jail time.

The Purpose of MIP Laws

The goal of minor in possession laws is to promote programs that prevent the illegal use of alcohol and marijuana and educate young adults about the dangers of these substances. By understanding the consequences of MIP charges, you can take steps to protect your criminal record and avoid legal trouble.

Can a Minor in Possession Conviction Stay on Your Record?

Yes, and It Can Be Indefinite

Receiving a minor in possession (MIP) conviction can lead to a permanent criminal record, which is added to any existing criminal history. While some jurisdictions may seal a first-time conviction automatically, many states state that MIP convictions remain on record indefinitely.

Can You Get a MIP Charge Dismissed?

Getting a MIP charge dismissed can help you avoid a criminal record. Experienced criminal defense lawyers can use several legal strategies to contest these charges. They may argue that you were not a minor when charged or did not technically possess alcohol, or that law enforcement used an unlawful search and seizure.

In addition to legal defense strategies, some states offer diversion programs or deferred entry of judgment, which can lead to a dismissal of MIP charges.

Can You Get a Conviction Expunged?

Expungement and Record Sealing Are Possible

In some states, you can get an expungement or seal your MIP conviction, resulting in the removal of the conviction from your criminal record. However, not all states offer expungements, and the process varies by jurisdiction. You may be eligible for expungement or record sealing if you have fulfilled all penalties and are not facing any other criminal charges.

Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?

Highly Valuable in MIP Cases

A skilled criminal defense attorney can be a valuable asset in MIP cases. They can help you challenge MIP charges with legal defenses and obtain an expungement or record sealing. Many attorneys offer free consultations, and your communications with your lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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