Illinois Minors in Possession (MIP) Lawyers
Experienced St. Charles, IL Attorneys for Minors Charged with Alcohol Possession
In Illinois, as in the rest of the United States, it is illegal for anyone under 21 years of age to drink alcohol. It is also illegal in the state of Illinois to possess alcohol or even be in the car with alcohol if you are not of legal drinking age. While these may seem like minor offenses, the laws are both very clear and very stringent when it comes to minors and drinking. A minor charged with possession should take these charges seriously and seek help from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney in order to handle this situation promptly and effectively.
Minors in Possession: More than Just a Ticket
When an individual is charged with being in possession of alcohol, they often receive a ticket from the officer who has found them breaking the law. In that way, it may seem like this is a minor offense that can be handled by paying a fine, similar to a parking ticket. However, Illinois law is very clear – this is a serious offense, and it can have a lasting and significant impact on one’s life.
Additionally, a minor can be charged with this crime simply for being in the car with alcohol. Not only is the driver responsible for making sure there is no alcohol inside of the automobile – each of the passengers can also be charged with illegal transportation of alcoholic beverages, although the passengers will usually receive a lighter penalty than the driver.
The penalties for MIP depend on a number of factors. In general, penalties for this crime often include fines, license suspension, and even license revocation. For example, if a group of minors is caught with alcohol in the passenger area of their vehicle, the driver will have their license suspended for at least twelve months and have the violation recorded on their driving record while the passengers may all be required to pay a fine. However, even if the alcohol consumption or possession does not occur in a vehicle, any minor who is found to have violated these laws can have their driving privileges adversely impacted.
If you or someone you care about has been charged as a minor in possession, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer from Donahue, Sowa & Magana can help you understand your options and choose the best course of action for your unique circumstances. As one of the oldest criminal defense law firms in Illinois, we have what you need to ensure that this issue does not have a lasting impact on the rest of your life.
Contact us today to set up a consultation. We serve clients throughout Illinois including those in Chicago, St. Charles, Naperville, DeKalb, Elgin, Joliet and Wheaton.