As a parent, you would do anything to protect your child. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to protect your children from every danger, including bad decisions. That is why, if your child is facing a minor in possession (MIP) charge, it is important that you find out as much information as possible about Arizona MIP laws.

Fortunately, your attorney can explain to you the details and possible defenses of an MIP charge. However, a little information before you meet with your attorney can help determine what kind of questions you need to ask.

General purpose

All states have MIP laws on the books for several reasons. First, the laws exist to help minors learn about drinking and driving and why such an activity is so dangerous. Second, the laws are in place so that minors can get help for addiction issues. And third, MIP laws also include community service requirements. In many states, first-time offenses come with rather lenient consequences, but like other criminal offenses, repeat convictions come with harsher punishments.

Possession is enough

While in many cases, minors receive MIPs because they are caught drinking and driving, simply holding an unopened alcoholic beverage could be enough for a conviction. This means that the minor does not necessarily have to be drunk or caught in the act of imbibing for a law enforcement officer to issue a citation.

Possible defenses

There are several defenses your attorney might choose from for a courtroom strategy. However, the defense will depend on the circumstances of the situation as well as the state and local laws of Prescott Valley. For example, your attorney might be able to argue that there was no alcohol in the cup or bottle that your child was holding.

But, if you go with this defense, the defendant must be able to prove that the container did not have any alcohol in it. Two other common defenses are that your child legally drank the alcohol or that consumption took place during a religious service.

Your child has rights

As with all criminal charges, your child has the right to argue against the charges in court. Your attorney will review the case and choose a course of action that is most beneficial to your child. Some of the items that your lawyer might examine include whether or not your child violated the law and if there were any violations committed by the officer at the time of the arrest.