Significance & Defense Methods
Minor in Possession cases are all too common, yet they still carry consequences for your record. In Missouri, the police do not need to catch you with beer or liquor if they can prove you that you are "visibly intoxicated" to charge you under the Intoxicated Minors law. Many people (even many police officers) inaccurately describe this offense as a "minor in consumption," and believe that a minor is in possession of alcohol because their body is the container for the alcohol that they are possessing. This is not quite true. The Government must prove "visible intoxication," which can be shown through a officer observations, but also is presumed if a breath test shows a BAC of .02% or higher. YOU CAN REFUSE A breath or other chemical test without it affecting your driver's license if you are asked to take it in connection with a NON-TRAFFIC alcohol offense.
We attack officer observations and the validity of the chemical test in Minor In Possession and Minor Visibly Intoxicated offenses the same way as in Driving While Intoxicated Cases. Another method of advocacy we use is to show the government the good character of each defendant. The prosecutor receives reports from the police, and these rarely paint the defendant in a positive light. It is your lawyer's job to even the scales with the goal of obtaining a favorable result and avoid lasting consequences.
Abuse and Lose
If you’re under the age of twenty-one, you need to be aware of the Missouri Abuse and Lose law and its effect on your license. If you are convicted of an alcohol-related offense while driving (including driving while intoxicated or even minor in possession), the court can order a suspension of your license for 90 days. Subsequent offenses can result in a one year license revocation.
Students should also be aware of the student code of conduct at your university or college. You may be permitted to bring an attorney to help advise you through the proceedings. Please see the University of Missouri student conduct hearings page for details, and contact us if you would like our assistance.
If you have an old conviction for minor in possession, you may be able to expunge it. Once you turn twenty-two, you can petition the court where you were convicted to expunge all official records so long as you do not have any other alcohol-related convictions. Only one minor in possession conviction may be expunged. If you believe you are eligible for an expungement, feel free to contact us to discuss representatin.
Read The Law
If you want to speak with a criminal defense attorney with experience in representing clients with minor in possession cases, call us at (573) 777-9770 or email us at Ben@CoMoCriminalDefense.com to schedule a free consultation.