Do you or someone you love need a lawyer to fight against minor in possession (MIP) charges? State laws in Kansas City, MO, and the surrounding areas allow the court to prosecute anyone under 21 for possessing or consuming alcohol. If you’re facing these charges, you may feel afraid and unsure of how to proceed. Don’t worry; there’s help. Attorney Jeff Jarrett is a defense lawyer who has helped his clients fight against juvenile drug possession charges since 1985. He’s a potent legal ally for anyone in these areas:

  • Kansas City, MO

  • Jackson County, MO

  • Clay County, MO

  • Johnson County, KS

  • Wyandotte County, KS

  • Leavenworth County, KS

How to Fight a Minor in Possession Charge

Minor in possession laws may not intuitively seem like they should be a complex area of legal practice. However, just like nearly every aspect of criminal law, nothing is ever easy. In fact, there are a number of situations where MIP laws may be applicable in either Kansas or Missouri. They include:

  • Drinking or possessing alcohol

  • Using a fake ID to buy alcohol

  • Providing minors with alcohol

Both Kansas and Missouri consider anyone under the age of 21 to be a “minor.” However, Kansas breaks that category down even further. If a minor aged 18-21 receives a MIP, the state can charge them with a Class C misdemeanor and $200 in fines. If the minor is below 18 years of age, they’ll be classified as a juvenile offender instead and receive up to $500 in fines.

In addition to fines, Kansas punishes MIP offenders by revoking their driving privileges. The state allows these punishments even if the offender wasn’t driving when they received their MIP. For an offender’s first conviction, they’ll lose their license for 90 days. Next, a second conviction will earn a 90-day license suspension. Finally, for any subsequent conviction, an offender will lose their license for a year.

If the state is accusing you or a relative of a MIP, it’s important to consult an experienced juvenile attorney. Often, it may be possible for an attorney to help an offender escape from an MIP conviction by entering a diversion program or completing community service. Hiring a lawyer to help an offender can greatly increase their chances of resolving their juvenile drug crime charge without affecting their criminal records. However, it’s important to act fast. If an offender doesn’t respond to the accusations against them promptly, the court may rule against them.

Choose a Dedicated Defense Lawyer

Missouri actually has some very specific language in its MIP laws. In Missouri, the police and prosecutors may assume that any unopened bottle labeled as alcohol is presumed to be so. Because of this law, the police can arrest a minor with a closed, sealed bottle of alcohol for an MIP. Additionally, it’s illegal for a minor to handle alcohol in any circumstances unless they are an employee of a licensed vendor. These laws give the authorities and prosecution great discretionary power to assign guilt for MIPs without considering all of the circumstances involving the case. It’s also illegal for a minor to appear visibly intoxicated in Missouri. If a police officer stops a minor for appearing intoxicated in public, they could face $1,000 in fines and a year in jail.

Luckily for MIP offenders in Missouri, there’s hope. Attorney Jarrett has extensive experience helping juvenile clients who need a lawyer for MIP charges. Since 1985, he’s helped clients in the Kansas City, MO area prove their innocence in court and keep their criminal records clean. He also has the expertise to recognize when the evidence is stacked against a client. When that happens, he has the knowledge and skill to negotiate a favorable plea deal. If you have any questions about your MIP, don’t wait. Call Jeff today for a free consultation.