Destin Minor in Possession (MIP) Attorney
Since the legal drinking age in Florida is 21, anyone who is younger than 21 and deemed to be in possession of alcohol in the Destin area may face a MIP charge. Though only a misdemeanor offense, MIP charges may lead to jail time, heavy fines, and a permanent criminal record if a conviction is achieved against a minor.
If you or your child has been accused of being a MIP in Destin, you need to retain a Destin minor in possession attorney at the Flaherty Defense Firm as early on as you possibly can to protect your or your child’s future. With over 12 years of experience in Destin, Tim Flaherty can help you or your child make informed legal decisions at each and every point of the legal process in Destin.
Actual & Constructive Possession of Alcohol in Destin
To be convicted of this offense, the Destin prosecution must be able to definitively prove that you or your child was in constructive or actual possession of alcohol. To be in actual possession of alcohol in Destin, a minor must be in physical control of beverage—for instance, having a beer in your hand, in your purse or backpack, or very near you would be considered actual possession.
Constructive possession, on the other hand, may be understood as a minor simply being aware of the presence of alcohol, in addition to having the ability and intent to possess it. For instance, you may be accused of constructive possession if you are at a Destin beach party where alcohol is being served and you are able to possess alcohol that is close by.
Penalties of Minor in Possession Conviction
The frequent parties on Destin’s beaches make it relatively easy for someone under 21 to come into contact with alcohol. Under Fla. Stat. § 562.111, however, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess alcohol under any circumstance, except in the presence of a guardian or when conducting legitimate business. If convicted of a second degree misdemeanor MIP in Destin, you or your child may face one or more of the following penalties:
- 60 days in jail
- Up to $500 in fines
- Permanent criminal record
If it is your second offense, you will likely face first degree misdemeanor charges in Destin which may result in the following:
- 1 year in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
As an experienced Destin attorney, Tim Flaherty can help you develop a comprehensive legal strategy intended to drop the charges in Destin or, at least, to achieve deferred prosecution. If you are granted deferred prosecution in Destin, your MIP will be dismissed once you have met certain conditions over a defined period of time, usually anywhere between a month and a year.
Consult with a Destin Minor in Possession Attorney
If you or your child is facing a MIP charge in Destin, you need an experienced Destin minor in possession attorney at the Flaherty Defense Firm to help protect your or your child’s future. To discuss the particulars of your circumstances with a member of our legal team, please call our Destin offices at (850) 243-6097 today.