Minor in Possession (MIP) or Possession of Alcohol under the Legal Age (PAULA)

A criminal act can range from a simple case of misdemeanor to treason, the most serious crime a person can ever commit. Whatever the degree of seriousness, any criminal charge against you is sure to affect your whole life, from family relationship to professional growth.

In its website, Arenson Law Group, PC, states clearly what the effects of a criminal accusation are, much more a conviction. On top of a damaged reputation, a guilty verdict would entail costly fines and time in jail plus the difficulty of finding a job, after you have served your term, due to your criminal record. It is literally life-changing effects that sometimes can never be fixed.

In order to maintain peace and order, the federal government, as well as each state, has enacted laws which every individual in the US, especially the minors (persons below 21) ought to follow. There are laws that mandate allegiance to the state, respect to human life, respect to privacy, safe driving, and possession, distribution and use of anti-drugs, among others.

One specific law that is directly intended for individuals under 21 years old is the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which was passed into law in 1984. This federal law prohibits purchase and possession of alcoholic beverages in public. Violators of this law will be charged by the state (which enforces the law) with Minor in Possession (MIP), or PAULA, which means Possession of Alcohol under the Legal Age.

States vary in their punishments concerning MIP or PAULA. Some require a fine between $100 and $200, if it’s a first time offense and if not involving public intoxication or driving. Others require a smaller fine, provided that the convicted person renders community service, a probationary period or undergoes an alcohol education program. Still in some states, fines may either be removed or included to the suspension of driving privileges between one month and a year.

Although an MIP is considered a misdemeanor, it can cause much worry and pressure to the convicted minor who may not have complete knowledge of the law he/she has been accused of violating. An Appleton criminal lawyer may be able to ease the accused of his/her fears and defend him/her from the maximum penalties the state can impose, especially is the offense is accompanied with public intoxication or drunk driving. Drunk driving crimes are serious and being a minor accused of drunk driving can have severe consequences.

In any criminal charge, it is true that hiring a lawyer will mean additional cost; but not hiring one can result in a destroyed future, a much costlier loss than any other you will have in life. Thus, if it involves the law, never gamble your life to what luck may send your way; entrust your rights and defense to someone who knows the law and who can help you have control of your future.