An outdated law sees a big change in the new year.
For so long a minor in possession has been a misdemeanor charge. The law has now changed so that a first-offense minor in possession is a civil infraction. This means a first-offense minor in possession will no longer be a crime.
What is Minor in Possession?
A minor in possession is where a person under the age of 21 possesses alcohol or has any bodily alcohol content.
Bodily alcohol content is defined as a blood alcohol level of .02 or above or any presence of alcohol in the body from the consumption of alcohol. There is an exception for alcohol consumption in a religious ceremony.
Penalties for Minor in Possession
A first-offense minor in possession is a civil infraction. The civil infraction comes with a $100 fine plus court costs. A court can also order the minor to perform community service and undergo alcohol assessment, screening, and education.
A second-offense minor in possession is still a misdemeanor. A second-offense is punishable by a $200 plus court costs, as well as substance abuse screening, assessment, and education. The minor may also be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail but only for a probation violation, failure to complete treatment, screening, or community service ordered by the court, or failure to pay a fine,
A third-offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by $500 fine plus costs, community service, and alcohol education, screening, and assessment. Jail time of up to 60 days is possible, but only for a violation of probation, or failure to follow a court order.
With a minor in possession charge, a judge cannot sentence you to jail, except for failure to comply with a court order. So long as you follow the court orders you cannot be sentenced to jail.
Read the full Minor in Possession Law at MCL 436.1703.
Sam Bernstein is a criminal defense attorney in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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