Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Unfortunately, your daughter doesn't have much of a defense. Minor in Possession and Minor Consumption are two different offenses. Since your daughter was charged with the former, it doesn't matter that she had not opened the beer, or consumed no alcohol.
Generally, though, MIP is not usually considered a big deal, especially in college towns. Odds are pretty good that your daughter will be eligible for some sort of pre-trial diversion program or, at worst, a suspended sentence with probation and coummunity service, plus a fine and costs.
Of course, there are always variations in state or local laws, as well as variations in what, for lack of a better word, I'll call "local custom" that may have an effect on your daughter's situation.
For that reason, I would recommend that you contact your local bar association’s lawyer referral service (they all have them) to locate a lawyer who practices criminal law in your state.
If you want to follow up, please identify your questions in the subject line as being for “Counselor.” Although it’s not required by any means, a bonus (tip) is always appreciated if you find the answer helpful. I would also appreciate any feedback you can give me to improve the quality of my answers.Counselor
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).