Minor in Possession 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. Possession doesn't mean ownership; merely being near alcohol and having control over it is enough. Control generally means the ability and permission to access it. Control over alcohol might be a cooler at a campsite shared by several people. However, a private refridgerator in a private bedroom of a shared apartment is probably not.
For individuals cited for Possession 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 must complete community service at an anti-alcohol agency or group (organizations that aid those with alcohol issues or alcohol awareness).
We focus on dismissal. In Austin, we can ususally negotiate dismissals, 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. Most courts require fines and court costs, most likely in effort to demonstrate to the minor that there are consequences to actions.
For minors previously convicted of two underage drinking offense 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.
The Keates Law Firm has over 14+ Years Experience handling criminal defense 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.
Our Results Speak for Themselves. Keates Law Firm has a record of dismissals and acquittals in a variety of criminal cases. We are dismissal focused, and we get results.
(a) A minor commits an offense if he 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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