Got a MIP in the desert, should I get an appointed attorney or even try to fight it?

UPDATED: Jan 12, 2012

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Got a MIP in the desert, should I get an appointed attorney or even try to fight it?

Got a MIP for alcohol in the desert. The officer saw me with a beer bottle in my hand when he pulled up but I’d set it down before he got out of car and talked to us. At no point did he ever check touch or even look at the beer it was very dark out too. I never admitted to holding alcohol and blew a .00% on breathalyzer. Wondering if I should get an appointed defender before making a plea? I really can’t afford a 1 year driver licenses suspension. I was not in a vehicle we had just finished setting up camp and was standing off to the side with 2 friends.

Asked on January 12, 2012 under Criminal Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you received a citation for a minor in possession of alcohol (MIP), you should look into being appointed a public defender in this criminal matter if you cannot afford to pay for a private criminal defense attorney.

From what you have written, the prosecution would have a hard time proving the charge against you since you had no alcohol within your system and the time of day was dark. For all that matters, you could have picked up a discarded beer bottle from some third party previously left behind to be taken back home for recycling.

From what you have written, I would contest the charge against you. Remember the prosecution has the burden of proving the charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt.

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