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Minor in Possession Lawyer in Miami
Also Serving Young Defendants in Fort Lauderdale
While it is illegal for people under 21 to drink alcohol, many minors are regularly arrested or cited for unlawful possession of alcoholic beverages in the Sunshine State. Some of the juveniles charged with these crimes are residents, but many others are tourists or visitors from other states who encounter law enforcement while on vacation. Normally charged as misdemeanor offenses, a conviction can result in possible incarceration and fines, plus criminal records that have much bigger long-term criminal consequences for young people. Let a Miami minor in possession lawyer fight for your rights.
Florida Statute § 562.111 makes it unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years to have alcoholic beverages in their possession, except for minors acting in the scope of their employment or tasting of alcoholic beverages as part of their required curriculum at authorized post-secondary educational institutions.
Those exceptions can include:
- Professional entertainers 17 years of age who are not in school
- Minors employed in the entertainment industry who have either been granted a waiver under Florida Statute § 450.095 or employed under the terms of Florida Statute § 450.132 or under rules adopted pursuant to either of these sections
- Persons under the age of 18 years who are employed in drugstores, grocery stores, department stores, florists, specialty gift shops, or automobile service stations which have obtained licenses to sell beer or beer and wine, when such sales are made for consumption off the premises
- Persons 17 years of age or over or any person furnishing evidence that he or she is a senior high school student with written permission of the principal of said senior high school or that he or she is a senior high school graduate, or any high school graduate, employed by a bona fide food service establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold, provided such persons do not participate in the sale, preparation, or service of the beverages and that their duties are of such nature as to provide them with training and knowledge as might lead to further advancement in food service establishments
- Persons under the age of 18 years employed as bellhops, elevator operators, and others in hotels when such employees are engaged in work apart from the portion of the hotel property where alcoholic beverages are offered for sale for consumption on the premises
- Persons under the age of 18 years employed in bowling alleys in which alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed, so long as such minors do not participate in the sale, preparation, or service of such beverages
- Persons under the age of 18 years employed by a bona fide dinner theater as defined in this paragraph, as long as their employment is limited to the services of an actor, actress, or musician. For the purposes of this paragraph, a dinner theater means a theater presenting consecutive productions playing no less than 3 weeks each in conjunction with dinner service on a regular basis. In addition, both events must occur in the same room, and the only advertised price of admission must include both the cost of the meal and the attendance at the performance
- Persons under the age of 18 years who are employed in places of business licensed under Florida Statute § 565.02(6), provided such persons do not participate in the sale, preparation, or service of alcoholic beverages
Penalties for a Conviction in Miami
Possession in these cases may be actual or constructive. Actual possession involves an alleged offender having alcoholic beverages in his or her hands or otherwise on his or her person, while constructive possession is defined as an alleged offender having dominion and control over an alcoholic beverage, knowledge the alcoholic beverage was within his or her presence, and knowledge of the illegal nature of the alcoholic beverages.
Possession of alcoholic beverages by a person less than 21 years of age is a second degree misdemeanor for a first offense, but a subsequent offense is a first degree misdemeanor.
A second degree misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. First degree misdemeanor convictions are punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Florida Statute § 322.056 further states that if a person under 18 years of age is found guilty of or delinquent for a violation of possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under age 21, the court will direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to revoke or to withhold issuance of the alleged offender’s driver license or driving privilege for a period of at least six months up to one year for a first violation and two years for any subsequent violation.
If the alleged offender has a license that is under suspension or revocation for any reason or is ineligible by reason of age for a driver license or driving privilege, the court will direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to extend the period of suspension or revocation, or withhold issuance of the driver license or driving privilege for the same time periods.
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