A Minor in Possession of alcohol conviction in Washington State is a gross misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is 364 days in jail (with up to 2 years probation) and a $5,000 fine.Driver's License Suspension
Minors who are convicted of a MIP offense or enter into a diversion agreement will be penalized by the WA State Department of Licensing. If this is your first offense related to alcohol, the penalty is a 1 year driver's license suspension. The driver’s license suspension increases to 2 years for a 2nd alcohol related conviction.
There are opportunities for early reinstatement of a minor’s suspended license with the Department of Licensing. In addition, there are special considerations available (related to the criminal consequences) if you are a juvenile.Minor in Consumption
The criminal and drivers license penalties are the same for under aged defendants (13-20 years of age) who have consumed alcohol and are not in physical possession of alcohol at the time of arrest. This charge is called Minor in Consumption and applies to individuals under the age of 21 who are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol in a public place or in a vehicle.Minor in Possession of Drugs
There is also a license suspension if a minor is in possession of marijuana or other drugs. Washington State law requires driving privileges to be revoked for minors that are either convicted of or sign a diversion agreement pursuant to a drug or marijuana possession charge.Protecting your Criminal Record
A conviction for drug or alcohol possession is very serious and can affect a young person's ability to procure employment, housing, and admission to college. When selecting a MIP attorney, you deserve the best possible representation.
Cristine Beckwith is a Tacoma Criminal Lawyer who advocates for clients charged with alcohol or drug possession throughout King and Pierce County, including the cities of Puyallup, Federal Way, Lakewood, Kent, and Auburn, WA. Her experience fighting for clients accused of MIP charges can be an important advantage in your case.