Minors in Possession & Consumption in Colorado
DUI Lawyers in Denver with 40+ Years' Collective Experience
Under Colorado's law regarding underage drinking (18-13-122, C.R.S.), any individual under the age of 21 years old who consumes, possesses, or who is in "the immediate presence" of alcohol can be tried for a criminal offense. Those convicted of an MIP infraction also face having their driving privileges suspended. For a first offense, Colorado parents could see their son or daughter lose his or her license for three months, though this is generally only if the individual does not attend a court-ordered assessment program or complete court-ordered useful public service hours.
The total cost of the offense for the accused can vary. For example, first offense fines can equal $50 at court, excluding the price of alcohol treatment programs and lawyer's fees. Additional charges that generally accompany MIP violations, such as littering, possession/consumption of alcohol in public and urinating in public, each of which represents a $100 fine, can add to this total. Second and third offenses are greeted with harsher penalties of 6 months and 12 months of a suspended license, respectively. Further, while such restrictions are in place, no driving privileges can be granted to the individual, no matter the circumstances. When paired with more serious DUI or DWAI offenses, however, MIP charges can compound to be far more punitive.
Minor in Possession - What it Means for Your Future
In most cases, a first MIP offense and its effect on a child's future will be at the mercy of the city attorney and the courts. Depending on the arresting officer, this individual could let the minor go home with only a ticket, avoiding a potential night in jail. However, multiple minor in possession charges have the ability to alter the lives of those who are convicted. Courts and officers generally take repeat violations more seriously, and as such, penalties for these minors tend to be more strictly enforced and exponentially increase.
If the minor attends a college or university, then they can expect additional disciplinary action to be taken by the institution. If cited by campus police or local officers, it is likely that the offense will be reported to the school and the student will be disciplined for violating the student conduct code. This discipline can result in penalties in addition to those imposed by the courts and often results in a form of academic probation with the potential to be suspended or expelled for future violations of the student conduct code. Criminal charges can not only make seeking employment more difficult for the minor, they can also cause stress for families. When a child is unable to drive themselves to work or school, this burden will then be placed on family members, many of whom need to help the individual with everyday tasks.
Hiring an Attorney to Represent Your Son or Daughter
Regardless of the severity of the offense, it is always best for minors and their parents to seek a local Denver criminal defense attorney who can advise them on how to best proceed given their specific situation. This may be especially important for the out-of-state minors who attend education facilities that require travel and who are potentially separated from their guardians and primary legal counsel.
At The Orr Law Firm, we are Colorado's premier DUI and criminal traffic defense firm. As such we can greatly help underage individuals who are charged with MIPs.
- We focus exclusively in defending clients of all ages against:
- Careless driving causing bodily injury or death
- Driving under revocation and suspension cases
- DUI, DWAI, DUID and UDD charges
- Eluding police charges
- Vehicular assault, homicide and eluding
For a free consultation with our expert Colorado DUI attorneys for your child's MIP case, call our offices today at (303) 818-2448.