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What You Should Do If You Get an MIP Citation in Texas

So it happened, you or a loved one received a citation for minor in possession of alcohol. You or your loved one may have been no where near an alcoholic beverage, but sure enough you received a citation for an alcohol related offense that could stay on your record forever. I promise, we can help. We have ensured that countless teens can say they are conviction free when it comes to MIP!

Deferred adjudication is NOT the only answer. Call me any time, day or night at (832) 259-9095; contact a REAL Houston MIP Lawyer today!

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Texas MIP Law

A charge of Minor in Possession (MIP) 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 illegally in possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage. The principal element of this crime, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, is that you were in possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage.

Minors are at risk of an MIP citation anytime they go to a party, nightclub, or when they are in a vehicle where alcohol is present. A minor can be in the proximity of alcohol which belongs to another person, but cannot touch, hold in his/her hand, transport, attempt to purchase, consume, or have any contact with it.

Possession of an alcoholic beverage may also include situations in which there is “constructive possession.” An example of constructive possession is when a minor is in an automobile where alcohol is readily accessible to any minor passenger in that vehicle. This situation extends to alcohol which is on the car seat, floor, or stored in the trunk of an automobile in which the driver is a minor and is in possession of the keys which unlock the trunk.

Constructive possession may also exist when:

  • you are at a table with several people who are drinking from a pitcher of beer with cups scattered about;
  • you pick up empty beer cans and cups;
  • you hold a friend’s beer so that they can put on their jacket; or
  • you use a beer can as a spittoon.

Furthermore, a minor will be considered to be in possession of alcohol simply if he/she is carrying a grocery bag for a friend in which alcohol has been packed.

According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code

106.05 Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, Sec. 106.05 provides that a minor (a person under the age of 21 years) commits this offense if he possesses an alcoholic beverage.

A minor may possess alcohol if he is in the visible presence of his adult (over the age of 21 years) parent, guardian, spouse, or other adult to whom he has been committed by a court.

A minor may possess alcohol while in the course and scope of his employment if he is an employee of a license or permittee and the employment is not prohibited by this code.

This offense is a Class “C” misdemeanor punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00. However, if a minor has 2 prior convictions, the punishment is a fine of not less than $250.00 or more than $2,000.00 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 6 months!

The court shall order a convicted minor to perform community service for not less than 8 or more than 12 hours. However, if he has a prior conviction, the community service is not less than 20 hours or more than 40 hours.

The court shall order the Department of Public Safety to suspend the minor’s driver’s license or permit or, if he does not have one, to deny the issuance of one for: 30 days if he has no prior convictions; 60 days if he has one prior conviction; or 6 months if he has 2 prior convictions.

For the purpose of determining whether a minor has a prior conviction, an order of deferred adjudication for a prior offense is considered a conviction!

The court shall require a convicted minor who has not been previously convicted to attend an alcohol awareness course approved by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. If he has been previously convicted, the court may require him to attend the course.

–This content was created and approved for use by Rick Powell of Texas A&M University on June 19, 2006 at 3:50 p.m.

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