What is Minor in Possession of Alcohol?

California Business and Professions Code 25662(a), commonly known as minor in possession of alcohol or “MIP” punishes an individual under the age of 21 for possessing alcohol in public. Do not be confused by the word minor, which usually means under 18. For this offense, minor refers to all individuals under 21. Also, the minor does not actually have to be drinking the alcohol to be arrested and convicted. Simply holding a container of alcohol is sufficient.

Is an “MIP” really that big of a deal…YES!

Most people think that the punishment for this offense is a slap on the wrist, but it is not. While the punishment is a $250 fine or 24-32 hours of community service, it is still a misdemeanor that will show up on your record and can affect your ability to get into college and/or get a job. Moreover, your driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year, or your privilege to drive will be delayed for one year if you do not have a license. The driver’s license suspension also applies to juveniles who commit this offense. Minor in possession of alcohol is also priorable, which means the punishment will increase if you have already been convicted of this offense before.

If you are under 21 and have been charged with BP 25662(a), minor in possession of alcohol, call the Law Offices of Heena Patel immediately. Attorney Patel can get your case dismissed and will help you save your license.


What is Public Intoxication?

Public Intoxication, commonly known as drunk in public or PC 647(f), is a misdemeanor. If convicted of public intoxication you can be sentenced to probation, up to 6 months in jail and/or a maximum of a $1,000 fine. Although the crime of public intoxication is commonly referred to as “drunk in public”, in order to be convicted, it is not enough for a prosecutor to prove that you were drunk and in public. The prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were so intoxicated you were unable to take care of yourself or others, or that you were so intoxicated you were interfering with, obstructing, or preventing others from using streets, sidewalks or other public ways. Whether or not a person is “intoxicated” is subjective. The officer does not have to administer a breathalyzer.

Attorney Patel has successfully achieved dismissals for many of her clients either because officers mistakenly arrested them just because they were “drunk” or because an overzealous prosecutor filed a case against her clients and the facts did not support a public intoxication charge. If you have been charged with public intoxication, call the Law Offices of Heena Patel.