Minor in Possession (M.I.P) in the State of Texas
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A charge of Minor in Possession (M.I.P.) in the State of Texas means that a person under the age of 21 is charged by law enforcement for possessing alcohol. The principal element of this crime, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, is possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage.
You can be charged with possession of an alcoholic beverage by just being near an alcoholic beverage at bar, restaurant, party, or at another location.
Possession of an alcoholic beverage includes situations involving "constructive possession." An example of constructive possession is when a minor is in an automobile where alcohol is readily accessible to any minor passenger in that vehicle. This situation extends to alcohol which is on the car seat, floor, or stored in the trunk of an automobile in which the driver is a minor in possession of the keys which unlock the trunk.
Constructive possession may also exist when:
a minor sits at a table with several people who are drinking from a pitcher of beer with cups scattered about;
a minor gathers empty beer cans and cups to discard as trash;
a minor holds a friend’s beer as the friend puts on their jacket; or
a minor uses a beer can as a spittoon for tobacco juice.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CODE, TITLE 4. REGULATORY AND PENAL PROVISIONS, CHAPTER 106. PROVISIONS RELATING TO AGE, Sec. 106.05. POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR provides that a minor (a person under the age of 21 years) commits this offense if he possesses an alcoholic beverage.
A minor may possess alcohol if he is in the visible presence of his adult (over the age of 21 years) parent, guardian, spouse, or other adult to whom he has been committed by a court.
A minor may possess alcohol while in the course and scope of his employment if he is an employee of a license or permittee and the employment is not prohibited by this code.
This offense is a Class "C" misdemeanor punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00. However, if a minor has 2 prior convictions, the punishment is a fine of not less than $250.00 or more than $2,000.00 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 6 months.
The court shall order a convicted minor to perform community service for not less than 8 or more than 12 hours. However, if he has a prior conviction, the community service is not less than 20 hours or more than 40 hours.
The court shall order the Department of Public Safety to suspend the minor’s driver’s license or permit or, if he does not have one, to deny the issuance of one for: 30 days if he has no prior convictions; 60 days if he has one prior conviction; or 6 months if he has 2 prior convictions.
For the purpose of determining whether a minor has a prior conviction, an order of deferred adjudication for a prior offense is considered a conviction.
The court shall require a convicted minor who has not been previously convicted to attend an alcohol awareness course approved by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. If he has been previously convicted, the court may require him to attend the course.