First Time Minor in Possession Now a Civil Infraction

An outdated law sees a big change in the new year.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.

Contact us

Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at

Sam Bernstein is a criminal defense attorney in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 2750 Carpenter Rd #2, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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