What You Should Do If You Get A Minor In Consumption Citation in Texas
So it happened, you are under 21 and got an MIC (Minor in Consumption) in Texas. You have a court date coming up and are unsure what to do and how to handle the situation. Most likely you have never received more than a traffic ticket in your whole life. We can help! We Fight MIC charges in Houston and throughout Texas. We will fight to keep an MIC off your record!
A charge of Minor in Consumption (MIC) means that you, being a person under the age of 21 years, have been given a citation by a police officer or Texas Alcohol Beverage Control Officer for being illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage. The principal element of this crime, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, is that you were consuming an alcoholic beverage.
While this charge may not seem serious, a Minor in Consumption (MIC) conviction may return to haunt you for years to come. In the most catastrophic nightmarish scenario, under the worst possible circumstances, one could get time in jail, a large fine (up to $2000.00), a long probation period, forced alcohol awareness programs, mandatory alcoholics anonymous meetings, assignment to a mental health professional, lose the ability to obtain a drivers license until 21, potential placement in a foster home (depending on your age of course), and the possibility of having an alcohol related offense on your permanent criminal record. In most cases we are able to perform damage control and mitigate all of the potential harmful consequences that could come to you.
In Texas and especially the Houston area, judges aren’t soft on this issue and want to make an example. Rely on an attorney who has the know-how and experience to walk you through this. DON’T FALL FOR FALSE PROMISES. Go with a Texas MIC Lawyer with a winning record.
If you are unsure about common punishments, procedures, what you should do, or what is the worst thing that can happen in your MIC case, call me at (832) 259-9095 or contact me at Get Legal Help Now for a free evaluation of your case. I can answer many of these questions and more.
Minor in Consumption Law
The Texas law concerning minors and alcohol can be found in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, Title 4, Chapter 106, “Provisions Relating to Age.” In summary, this section states:
- for the purposes of alcoholic beverages, a minor is anyone under the age of 21
- a minor cannot purchase, or attempt to purchase, an alcoholic beverage
- a minor cannot consume an alcoholic beverage except under certain specific conditions
The above-listed information is only a summary of the relevant sections of the code. A more detailed discussion of this section of the Alcoholic Beverage Code should be obtained from a Minor in Consumption attorney.
Possible Penalties if Convicted
The possible penalties that can result from an MIC conviction will vary depending on factors such as the age of the defendant, the circumstances that led to the arrest, and if there are any previous convictions for offenses involving alcohol.
At a minimum, a first conviction for is a Class C misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $500, 8 to 40 hours of community service, mandatory completion of an alcohol awareness training, and a 30 day suspension of your driver’s license.
If the defendant is 17 years of age or older and has two or more convictions for an alcohol-related offenses such as Minor In Possession of Alcohol (MIP) or DUI the charge can be enhanced (increased) to a Class B misdemeanor. This can result in a fine that can range from $250 to $2,000, a driver’s license suspension of 6 months, and up to 40 hours of community service.
Texas law provides three absolute or “affirmative” defenses which, if demonstrated, will result in dismissal of the charge.
A minor may possess (but not consume) alcohol as part of his or her employment.
A minor can legally consume an alcoholic beverage so long as that person does so while within visual range of a parent, a spouse that is over 21 years of age, or an adult guardian who is legally responsible for the minor in other circumstances.
A minor can avoid prosecution if that person called to obtain emergency medical assistance for someone that is believed to be suffering from an alcohol overdose provided that:
- the minor was the first to call for help
- the minor remained at the location to which help was summoned, and
- the minor cooperated with the police after the scene of the emergency was under control.
If these defenses cannot be used, it is still possible to defend the charge by challenging the circumstances of the arrest. Since such challenges can be complicated, it is strongly advised that an MIC lawyer be retained to manage all aspects of these defenses.
Deferred Adjudication or Probation
For first offenders, an attorney will often enter a motion to have the defendant placed on probation or ask the court for a deferred adjudication. In most cases, the court will grant that motion.
Probation involves having the defendant plead guilty and the court imposing probation rather than some other punishment. If the defendant satisfactorily completes probation, he or she will be released from probation without further restrictions.
In deferred adjudication, the defendant will plead guilty to the charge but the judge will not accept the plea, deferring a finding of guilty to some future date. With the deferment, the judge will impose certain conditions that must be fulfilled prior to the defendant’s next appearance in court. If all the imposed conditions have been met, the judge will dismiss the charge.
Of the two alternatives mentioned here, deferred adjudication is the more preferable option. With probation, the guilty plea will be entered as a conviction of the defendant’s record and remain there indefinitely.
The advantage to a successful deferred adjudication is that there is no record of a conviction entered on the defendant’s record. There will be a record of the arrest and the deferred adjudication but, since the judge dismissed the case, there is no conviction.
Still have questions about your MIC case? Contact an MIC attorney at The Law Office of Brian S. Laviage - (832) 259-9095. The initial consultation is free and we can help keep the charge off your permanent record.