What are the consequences of getting a minor in possession citation?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Getting a minor in possession (MIP) citation can have a drastic impact on a youngster’s life. Under Florida law, it is illegal for individuals under 21 years of age to consume or possess alcohol.

With Florida being a popular destination for young people, especially during spring break and other vacations, the chances of indulging in alcohol are relatively high. If caught, the consequences of receiving an MIP citation under state law can be significant.

First offense penalties

A first offense of Possession of Alcohol by a minor is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, penalties may include any combination of the following:

  • Fines up to $500
  • Jail time up to 60 days
  • Probation up to 6 months.

In addition, judges are required to revoke the individual’s driver’s license for a minimum period of six months, which is extendable to 12 months.

Subsequent conviction penalties

Minor in possession is considered an enhanceable offense, meaning that subsequent offenses can result in increasingly severe penalties. If a minor is found guilty of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor with a prior conviction, the penalties get more severe.

  • Up to $1000 in fines
  • Probation up to 12 months
  • Jail time up to 12 months

Possession of Alcohol by a Minor with prior conviction is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. Judges are required to revoke the convicted person’s driving license for a period of two years.

Other possible consequences of a minor in possession conviction

Since an MIP conviction goes on a person’s criminal record, it can result in long-term consequences beyond the immediate penalties. Some potential additional consequences include impacting education, as many institutions ask about criminal history on applications, potentially affecting admission decisions or eligibility for scholarships. It could also hinder future employment opportunities, as some employers conduct background checks and may be hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal record.

If you are faced with an MIP citation, getting legal counsel should be a priority to help ensure that the strongest possible defense strategy is working in your favor.