Flaherty Defense Firm, Fort Walton Beach Criminal Lawyer
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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. An MIP in Destin is not just an infraction like it is in a lot of states. An MIP charge can lead to a permanent criminal conviction on your record.

If you have been accused of MIP in Destin, or you’re a parent of a child accused of MIP, I can help.

My name is Tim Flaherty. I’ve been a criminal defense attorney in Destin since 2001. An MIP charge is worth taking seriously, but there is also reason to be optimistic. There are good options available to resolve these cases with no permanent conviction.

I can also make sure you will not have to return to Florida for court.

Actual & Constructive Possession of Alcohol in Destin

To be convicted of this offense, the State must be able to prove that you were in constructive or actual possession of alcohol. To be in actual possession of alcohol, a minor must be in physical control of the beverage—for instance, having a beer in your hand.

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 can be accused of MIP if you are at a party on the beach where alcohol was being served and you were able to possess alcohol that is close by.

Penalties for Minor in Possession in Destin

The frequent parties on Destin’s beaches make it 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 when conducting legitimate business. If convicted of a second degree misdemeanor MIP in Destin, you may face one or more of the following penalties:

  • 60 days in jail
  • Up to $500 in fines
  • Permanent criminal record

As an experienced criminal lawyer, I will pursue a full dismissal of all charge. The most likely way that will happen is through a program called Pretrial Diversion.

If you complete Pretrial Diversion, your MIP will be dismissed once you have met certain conditions over a defined period of time, usually anywhere between 30 and 90 days. Once the case is dismissed, I will also encourage you to have the criminal record Expunged as long as you are eligible. Click for more information about Record Expungements in Florida.

If you were arrested for MIP in Destin, call me at (850) 243-6097 and let’s get to work putting this behind you.

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc.
NORML
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
9.8Tim Michael Flaherty
The National Trial Lawyers