Understanding Minor in Possession Laws

Pushing boundaries is a normal part of being a teenager, and one way of doing so is by experimenting with alcohol. While many adults may recall their own experiences with alcohol as teenagers as harmless fun, their own children might now be facing serious legal consequences for doing the same. Virginia parents who are ready to help their children navigate through this process may want to learn more about minor in possession — MIP — charges.

MIP charges are often associated with teenagers driving under the influence of alcohol. However, a teen can be charged even if he or she was never behind the wheel. An officer might arrest a minor because he or she:

  • Tried to buy alcohol
  • Drank alcohol
  • Possessed alcohol

Of course being accused of MIP does not mean that a teen was actually engaging in unlawful behavior. For example, if a teenager was arrested for holding a container of alcohol, but the container was empty at the time, he or she could argue that no crime had been committed. A teenager who consumed alcohol during a religious service might also be able to successfully defend him or herself against such allegations.

Youthful indiscretions should not have to follow teenagers for years to come. Unfortunately, Virginia minor in possession law makes it difficult for a young offender to move forward after what might feel like just a simple mistake. Parents who are eager to protect their children’s futures should be certain that they understand both the extent of the charges as well as possible legal ramifications.