What is the Penalty for Possession of Liquor for People Under 21?

You may think that a MIP (minor in possession) charge is no big deal because it only carries a $50 fine but you are wrong!

The Clerk-Magistrate must report the conviction to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which will  suspend that your driver’s license for 90 days!

MIP Law In Massachusetts

The law reads, “being under twenty-one years of age and not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, did knowingly possess, transport or carry on his or her person alcohol or an alcoholic beverage, not doing so in the course of his or her employment while between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, in violation of Massachusetts Law G.L. c. 138, 34C.”

The penalties for a first offense is a $50 fine and a second offense raises that fine to $150 along with your driver’s license being suspended for 90 days.

Using False Identification

Many young adults feel that using a fake ID is a way to purchase liquor without the worry of getting caught. However, this offense is a misdemeanor that would be an additional charge to the possession charge.

The penalties for using fraudulent identification could include up to 3 months in jail and a $200 fine.

A conviction for a minor in possession of alcohol can cause many problems for young adults — from going to school, to getting to a job or even doing errands for the family. Being a parent, I think of the freedom I was given back to me once our son earned the right to drive himself to and from all of his activities. If he lost his license and I had to transport him all around, there would be two angry people in that car!

Defending Your MIP Charges

First, you know it is illegal to have liquor in the car without a parent or guardian present, so don’t. That being said, if this does happen to you, many factors may come into play which could help in your defense.

  • Did the police have the right to get you out of the car?
  • Did they have the right to search your car?
  • More to the point, did they have the right to stop your car?

All these factors and more need to be evaluated before an attorney can advise you of what to do. Potentially case-winning defenses can be discussed in the privacy of our offices. Feel free to schedule a free consultation via this website. Or call 978-452-1116 .

We have handled many cases like this over the years. Just remember you have rights. One of the most important ones is to remain silent when being questioned and hire a competent attorney before talking with the police.

Related Resource: Information on a minor charged with DUI of drugs or alcohol

Attorney Gregory Oberhauser

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Gregory Oberhauser is the ONLY attorney in Massachusetts to be distinguished as an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist by the American Chemical Society!

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