What Happens If Your Teen Gets a Minor in Possession Charge?

Your teen is an honors student. She aces all her classes. She’s involved in all kinds of extra-curricular activities. She has an impeccable driving record. You’ve done a great job as a parent.

And then you get the shocking call: your teen has been busted for a minor in possession (MIP). How can this have happened? Where did you go wrong? You know that she’s a good kid, but now it seems like that doesn’t matter. What’s going to happen to her?

Even though the charges are certainly no laughing matter, the good news is that even though it may be startling for you to see your teen in such a situation, a good defense lawyer will be able to handle minor in possession charges relatively smoothly. If your teen gets an MIP charge, the most important thing you as a parent can do is make sure that your child has a good defense lawyer so that the charge will not affect their life any more than it needs to.


What Is an MIP Charge?

Minor in possession charges are a type of juvenile crime that minors may face if they’re found in possession of drugs or alcohol. In Colorado, charges against minors are usually issued with the intention of educating them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, not severely punishing them. This means that usually, the consequences for these charges are based on reformation, not punishment. Some consequences of MIP charges may include:

  • Community service
  • Mandatory drug or anger management classes
  • Marks on their permanent record
  • Short-term license suspension

Of course, sometimes the consequences for MIP charges are more severe, especially if this is your teen’s second or third offense. These more severe consequences can include:

  • Time in jail or a juvenile detention facility
  • Long-term license suspension
  • Significant fines

MIP charges can also have an effect on your child’s school if the drugs or alcohol were found while he or she was on school property. This means that in addition to any legal action that may be taken against your child, he or she may be facing administrative consequences from his or her high school or college. Depending on the case and the school’s policy, your teen may face suspension, probation, or even expulsion.

Denver MIP Attorney


What are the Punishment Options?

As mentioned above, MIP charges can come with a variety of serious consequences. The good news is that MIP charges are relatively easily contestable by a qualified minor in possession attorney, especially if this was your teen’s first offense. Instead of community service or jail time, a qualified lawyer may be able to talk a judge into letting your teen enter rehabilitation programs, volunteer opportunities, or meetings with counselors.

One of the worst results of MIP charges is the stain they make on your child’s permanent record. This can haunt your child, especially if he or she is looking for jobs or applying for scholarships. A criminal record can be viewed by anyone, and even though a minor’s criminal record may eventually be expunged later in life, it has potential to be extremely damaging for years and years.

If you want to make sure your teen’s future is not ruined by a mistake your child made in his or her adolescence, you may want to speak to a qualified juvenile crimes defense lawyer. A good lawyer might be able to keep the charges off your son or daughter’s permanent record and may be able to lessen the severity of the judge’s verdict. If your teen is facing an MIP charge, contact Jacob E. Martinez today to discuss your and your child’s options.

About the Author:

Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.