Minor in Possession
It is illegal under Florida law for anyone under 21 to possess alcohol. Being in possession doesn’t require the minor to have consumed the alcohol, just found in possession of it.
Law enforcement uses a range of tactics to catch minors in possession of alcohol. Some of these tactics include sting operations at sporting events, concerts and clubs. Other arrests for the crime can also happen when police break up a house party or finding minors on the beach with alcohol.
Attorney for Minor in Possession in Treasure Coast
The sooner you retain legal counsel for minor in possession charges, the better the child’s chances of receiving the best outcome in court. Attorneys with Meltzer & Bell have proven experience in dealing with juvenile charges in the Treasure Coast, and they will strive to achieve the best possible outcome for you or your child.
Meltzer & Bell represent clients of juvenile offense in counties along the Treasure Coast that include Martin and Saint Lucie. Call us today at (772) 291-2534 to schedule a free case consultation or submit your information in the online contact form.
The frequent parties on Treasure Coast beaches make it easy for someone under 21 to come in possession of alcohol. But under Florida Statute 562.111, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to be in possession of alcohol. The possession may be actual or constructive.
Actual possession of alcohol involves the alleged offender having the beverage in their hands or any other area under the defendant’s direct and immediate control. Constructive possession, however, is defined as the alleged offender having control and dominion over the alcohol, knowing the beverage was within their presence and knowing the illegal nature of being in possession of the alcoholic beverage.
There are certain exceptions where someone under 21 is allowed to possess alcohol. These exceptions include any person over 18 whom:
- Works at an establishment that sells, prepares or serves alcoholic beverages
- Tasting the alcoholic beverage as part of the student’s required college curriculum
If you are younger than 21 and are caught in possession of alcohol, you will face criminal and civil penalties. Listed below are the penalties for minor in possession:
- A first offense is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or a combination of both.
- A second offense of minor in possession is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, $1,000 in fines or a combination of both.
In addition to the criminal penalties, under section 322.056 of the Florida Statutes, the court may direct the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to revoke or withhold issuance of the minor’s driver’s license or driving privileges as follows:
- For a first offense, a minor could lose their driver’s license or driving privileges for up to one year.
- For any subsequent offense, a minor could lose their driver’s license or driving privileges for up to two years.
If the minor is not of legal driving age when they are charged with minor in possession, the court shall direct the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to impose the following penalties:
- First offense: Withhold issuance of a driver’s license for no less than six months, but no more than a year after the date the minor would have been issued their driver’s license.
- Subsequent offense: Withhold issuance of the minors driver’s license for two years after the date the minor would have been issued their driver’s license.
It’s worth noting that if you were 18 to 20 at the time of the offense, then your case will be prosecuted in adult court.
Possession of Alcoholic Beverages by Persons Under 21 | Florida Statutes 56.111 – Follow this link to read through the Florida Statutes that governs minor in possession. The statute defines what minor in possession is, situations where minor can be in possession, and penalties for the offense. The statute can be read on Online Sunshine, the official website for the Florida Legislature.
Mandatory Revocation or Suspension, Delay of Eligibility of Driver’s License | Florida Statutes 322.056 – Learn more about the penalties that are imposed by the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles when a minor is charged with possession. The statue defines the penalties for first and subsequent offenses, as well as penalties if the crime was committed along with other noncriminal violations.
Lawyer for Minor in Possession in Treasure Coast, FL
If you or your child is being investigated for minor in possession on the Treasure Coast, you should contact Meltzer & Bell today. Our attorneys will fight to protect your rights and achieve the best possible result for your situation.
Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 291-2534 to schedule a free case consultation or submit your information in the online form. We represent clients with juvenile charges in counties along the Treasure Coast that include Martin and Saint Lucie.