What can I do about my first MIP?

UPDATED: Nov 8, 2011

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What can I do about my first MIP?

I just recently got my first and last MIP. I have never been in trouble before and I’m not really sure what’s going to happen. Is there any way that I can get this dismissed? Does my age matter between 18-21 or is it the same charge regardless of if I was 18 or 20? Will I lose my drivers license? Because if so I won’t be able to work and then I won’t be able to pay off my fine. What can I do? In UT.

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Criminal Law, Utah


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

UT has strict, zero tolerance laws regarding underage drinking; it has what is known as a "no drop rule" Minors caught drinking or even possessing any amount of alcohol can face criminal charges for minor in possession (MIP). If found guilty of underage alcohol possession minors can face severe penalties, such as fines, alcohol monitoring (for which there is a fee), home confinement and monitoring, and a lengthy license suspension.

However, there are defenses. An experienced criminal/DUI attorney can spot weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and work to use those weaknesses to their client's best advantage. For example, many times MIP charges stem from a search and seizure carried out by police of a defendant’s automobile. If the police do not follow the constitutional limitations placed on these searches and seizures, skilled defense counsel can have the case dismissed.

Bottom line, if you can get an attorney do so. Even if they can't get your case dismissed, they may be able to get the charge reduced to at least lessen the penalties.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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