The State of Arizona has passed strict laws that make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume or possess any alcoholic beverages. Even holding an unopened alcoholic beverage if you are minor is illegal and can be considered a misdemeanor. These Minor in Possession (MIP) laws are serious and if convicted, these charges are considered a criminal offense. A minor can be arrested, charged, and convicted of a Minor in Possession and receive jail time and have a permanent criminal record. Contacting an experienced defense attorney can help you determine how to best proceed with your case, and help you understand your rights.
Arizona Minor in Possession Statutes
The Minor in Possession statute in Arizona are as follows:
- ARS 4-241L : If you have a fake ID and purchase alcohol under the age of 21 in Arizona, you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Penalties include fines up to $2,500, revocation of driver’s license for up to six months or 180 days, and jail time of up to six months.
- ARS 4-241M : If you are under the age of 21 and someone purchases, sells or even gives alcohol to you then you will be charged with a Class 3 Misdemeanor. Penalties include fines up to $500, potential loss of driver’s license for 6 months, and possible jail time of up to six months.
- ARS 4-241N : If you under the age of 21 and use a fake ID to get into a bar or other establishment that requires all patrons to be over the age of 21, then you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Penalties include fines up to $2,500, suspended driver’s license for up to six months, and jail time of up to six months.
Additionally, if a minor consume alcohol in a public place, he or she can be charged with a Minor in Consumption (MIC) ticket that can result in sanctions, one year of probation and community service.
Possible Defense Against a Minor in Possession Charge
An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to defend against the charge of underage drinking for either Minor in Possession or Minor in Consumption in Arizona. Depending on the facts and circumstances specific to your particular case, an attorney may be able to build a strong case to attempt to request community service or classes, instead of heavy fines or jail time. Additional defenses against Minor in Possession or Minor in Consumption can include situations that involve a minor using alcohol for medicinal purposes or religious ceremonies. However, the state of Arizona considers Minor in Possession and Minor in Consumption as serious criminal offenses. These charges should not be taken lightly, as the state of Arizona typically takes a zero-tolerance policy regarding minors involved with alcohol.
Contact a DUI Lawyer Today
If you are facing Minor in Possession or Minor in Consumption charges, contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to help you understand your legal rights. Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is a leading defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ. Her aggressive representation and client services set our firm apart from the rest. You can discuss your case with us by calling (602) 560-7408 or by sending a message through the firm’s request form today.