Posted by Jim Yeargan in on December 5, 2014
Minor In Possession of Alcohol
Minor in Possession of an alcoholic beverage, or underage consumption, is a common charge in Georgia. This charge is a misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, and a $1,000 fine. While jail time is unlikely a conviction for Minor in Possession can have long term consequences on your future employment, school enrollment, scholarships, military service, and driving privileges.
If you were only issued a citation for Minor in Possession the charge does not appear on your criminal history, and will not show up on a background check. If you were cited and arrested then the charge does appear on your criminal history, and will appear on a criminal background check. This is not fair since you have not been convicted, but as soon as you were fingerprinted at the jail the charge was placed on your criminal history.
The charge of Minor in Possession of alcohol will not, in and of itself, suspend your driver’s license, or privilege to drive in the State of Georgia. However, upon conviction, the sentencing judge is allowed to suspend your driver’s license if he sees fit to do so.
In order to cite, arrest, and convict a minor for this offense the police do not have to breathalyze him. If the police smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from a minor, or observe certain manifestations of intoxication such as slurred speech, red glassy eyes, or an unsteady gait these observations alone can be enough to cite, or arrest, the minor for possessing an alcoholic beverage.
Many times officers will cite minors for possessing alcohol when they shouldn’t have. Commonly, officers will cite everyone at a party or riding in a car, when alcohol is present. These charges are usually improper because mere presence does not equal possession; simply being around alcohol does not mean a minor is in possession of it.
Even when a minor is in possession of alcohol there are certain ways of handling this charge that will result in a dismissal of the charge, and the arrest being removed from the minor’s record. To find out which defenses, and options, are available to you contact us immediately.