Minor in Consumption of Alcohol is where a person under 21 years of age ingests or drinks an alcoholic beverage. No breathalyzer or alcohol tests are required for an officer to charge a minor, and neither are required for a Judge or Jury to convict the minor. The mere consumption, even if minimal, may be enough for the officer to write the citation. Likewise, in Austin or Travis County, it's common for officers to smell alcohol on the breath of a minor at a party, and issue the citation for Consumption of Alcohol by Minor. This offense is almost interchangeable with Minor in Possession of Alcohol, and could be charged at the same time as MIC; however in Austin, that practice is rare.
There is a separate offense for having alcohol containers rather than drinking it, which is Minor in Possession of Alcohol.
For individuals cited for Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor, the offense is considered a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by fines of up to $500. Due to the Underage Drinking Laws in Texas, a Conviction will Suspend the minor's Driver's License or delay the ability to obtain one. If convicted, the minor must attend and complete a mandatory education class for alcohol awareness, and some courts require that the community service be done at an anti-alcohol agency or group (organizations that aid those with alcohol issues or alcohol awareness).
We strive for dismissal of these cases, and often can negotiate a dismissal even if the prosecutors can prove the case. These cases often come down to the officer's report, which is a preview of what that officer would testify to if called at trial. If the officer listed enough detail in the report to show that the minor had consumed (any) alcohol, such as smell, bloodshot eyes, stumbling, or the most common admission of drinking, then prosecutors will often insist upon the Alcohol Awareness Class and community service.
For minors previously convicted of two underage drinking offenses or more, the third is enhanced. The third offense is punishable by fines >$250 up to $2,000, and even has the potential for jail time.
For more information, please see our FAQs on Underage Drinking below.
Related areas to Minor in Consumption of Alcohol include tickets and offenses under the umbrella of underage drinking such as Minor in Possession of Alcohol, or minors using a fake identification card, on aMisrepresentation of Age Case.
If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.
Although it's possible, usually a person charged with Minor in Consumption of Alcohol is not arrested and taken to jail -- at least in Austin. Officers will often issue a citation requiring that person to appear in court by a certain date. Still, in rare situations, Minor in Consumption of Alcohol does result in an arrest. Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.
Most Minor in Consumption of Alcohol cases involve the claim, by an officer, that a minor was either observed drinking, or had the smell of alcohol on his or her breath. If true, such an observation may limit defenses. But often, officers will arrest a group of people, some of whom are drinking -- and some not. This can especially be true in dorm or college apartment settings, where one roommate is over 21 and others are under 21.
If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.
Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Minor in Consumption of Alcohol cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.
Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.
Your goal should be Dismissal for any Minor in Consumption of Alcohol charge. A Dismissal will allow a person to later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.
Keates Law Firm has a track record of dismissals for Minor in Consumption of Alcohol. Most Minor in Consumption of Alcohol cases result in negotiated dismissals, where there's usually a trade-off of community service and a class in exchange for a dismissal -- but not always. The main hurdle is convincing the prosecutor to agree to dismiss the case, and Keates Law Firm has experience in Austin's Travis County courts doing just that.
(a) A minor commits an offense if he consumes or possesses an alcoholic beverage.
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class C Misdemeanor||Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
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