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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 111468
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I would like to know the consequences of a minor that

Customer Question

I would like to know the consequences of a minor that receive a letter that needed the be in court for a liquor under 21 posses need advise
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 month ago.

Good morning Rocio:

My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to provide general information regarding your question. As a reminder, all information provided here is for educational purposes only and does not constitute advice.

Please allow me a moment to review your question and to type out a response. Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Just to add an additional part of information that might help he's 19 and got this letter and needed to be I court next week with other five guys, were to buy some but he wasn't he was inside the car.
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 month ago.

Ok, thanks for that additional information.

So a Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) is an offense that is not considered a "minor" offense in that it is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor. What that means is that the offense is not punishable by any jail time.

Rather, the offense is punishable by fine only (minimum of $50 for a first offense). However, a conviction of this type of offense can lead to suspension of a driver's license for a MIP conviction for 90 days.

For these types of "minor" offenses, prosecutors and courts may allow for a pre-trial diversion program. A pre-trial diversion program is essentially a type of probation where if the individual meets certain requirements for the period of probation (i.e., payment of fines, community service, etc), a case will be dismissed. This is good because if a case is dismissed, then there is no formal conviction entered onto someone's criminal background and no license suspension occurs.

These types of deferred prosecution programs are generally reserved for individuals charged with minor offenses and those without a substantial criminal history (including minors as the courts tend to try to avoid convicting a minor as it may have serious ramifications down the road for the minor).

As to the second part of your question, when it comes to "possession" of any type of illegal item, there are two types of possession that can occur. One is actual, physical possession (i.e., physically holding something in or about a person). The second is called "constructive possession." Constructive possession is a legal theory that allows a judge or jury to find someone guilty of possession of an item even though they did not physically possess the item (for instance, if there is a person driving a car and there is a gun under the seat, a court can find that the driver "constructively possessed" the gun).

In matters like this, it is always best to speak to an attorney to handle the case because an attorney is more likely to be successful in negotiating a plea agreement where an individual is given the pre-trial diversion.

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 month ago.

Questions based on this? If so, please ask and I'd be happy to answer further or clarify anything I've provided here.

If not, please remember that experts here are not employees of JustAnswer and do not get credited for taking the time to assist individuals until they click ACCEPT and rate the assistance provided with three stars or higher. Your cooperation in this regard would be much appreciated!

***General information provided here is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. It is always wise to consult with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction as they would be in the best position to assist***

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 month ago.

I see you have read my response.

If you have questions, please ask.

If not, remember that experts here assist individuals, not as a hobby, but as their income and on a good-faith basis and in compliance with the terms of service agreed upon by the individual.

As such, please click accept and rate the assistance provided with three stars or higher as this is the only way experts can be credited if you have no further questions.

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 month ago.

If you have questions, please ask.

If you are unhappy with the assistance provided, please let me know and I'd be happy to assist further until you are satisfied. I am sure you did not intend to simply obtain the assistance provided here without complying with the terms of service you agreed to.

Otherwise, please comply with the terms of service agreed upon initially by rating the assistance provided. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Not yet satisfy with the answer, reason being, maybe I wasn't cleared or I didn't explain myself correctly of the originally case I received, as I understood ( is for my son ) he received this letter " liquor person under 21" as I mentioned before, but this letter is referring that he needed to be appear to present his side of the story, my specific question would be, could this get worse ? Meaning if there's any high percentage that he could get convicted? Or is it better to hire an attorney?
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 month ago.

Thanks for letting me know and giving me the opportunity to assist further.

Just to be clear, when you say a letter, are you referring to a summons (or "order to appear")?

That is what it seems like you were referring to (which makes what was provided above applicable nonetheless).

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 month ago.

When someone is summoned or ticketed for minor in possession of alcohol (which is the same as "liquor person under 21"), they must appear in court. At the court date, they can request a trial (which is where the person explains their "side" of what occurred). The prosecutor also gets to present evidence. At the end of the hearing, the judge determines whether or not the minor is guilty of the offense or not guilty.

If the judge finds the person guilty, the maximum punishment is what I mentioned above (a fine). Also, if the person is found guilty, the person loses his or her license for 90 days. This is ONLY IF the person is found guilty.

However, a person can avoid the risk of being found guilty at a trial by asking for pre-trial diversion (which can only happen before a trial). I discussed pre-trial diversion above.

It is always best to hire an attorney because they can look at all the evidence and determine if the person has a good shot at winning at trial. If they determine that they do not have a good shot at winning at trial, the attorney can request from the court pre-trial diversion, which would allow the person to avoid a conviction (thereby keeping their criminal background clean and keeping their license).

However, your initial question had to do with what the consequences are for this type of offense. They are as follows:

-If found guilty in court, the punishment is a $50 fine, a conviction on the person's background and loss of driver's license for 90 days.

-If pre-trial diversion is obtained (which is a withholding of a guilty verdict), then there is no conviction on the person's background and no loss of license. There will most likely still be a fine.

Does this answer your question?

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 month ago.

I again see you have read my response.

It appears that you may not be aware of what JustAnswer provides. It provides general information regarding your question. Specifically, your question asked about the consequences of a specific offense. That question was answered (the fullest extent possible by any expert here).

I am not quite sure what else you are looking for or what other information I can provide regarding your question.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you the issue is that the court appearce is by tomorrow and we are not sure about getting more advise at this point will be needed or helpful, however the appearance will be with other 5 friends of my son two minor including my son and three over 21 that two have an attorney. I'm still thinking if i need your assistance live
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR, as your previous contributor has opted out.
Your previous contributor provided you correct information. Legally, state laws forbid anyone on this site from engaging in representation of anyone from this site (as explained and agreed to by all customers when they agree to post on this site).
If this is his first appearance, he will not need an attorney, he needs to appear and plead not guilty and he can seek to get the matter set for a hearing and get an attorney at that time to seek to go to court with him and negotiate a deal with the prosecutor. The first contributor was correct in their assessment of the matter under MA law up to this point.
If you have further questions please ask and I would be more than willing to assist. If you have no further questions, as the previous expert was correct and did invest time providing you proper information, please consider leaving positive feedback as the experts are not site employees and get no credit for time spent with customers unless customers leave positive feedback.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
How do I leave a feedback for the previous one that answer my questions ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
You simply need to click on the 5 stars at the top of your page.