Minor in Possession
Florida has the same minimum drinking age of 21 years as every other state in the nation, but 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.
With a couple of exceptions, possession of an alcoholic beverage by a person less than 21 years of age is a misdemeanor offense. Convictions not only can result in possible incarceration and fines, but criminal records can have much bigger long-term consequences for young people.Lawyer for Minor in Possession Arrests in Miami-Dade County, FL
If you or your child were arrested or issued a notice to appear for unlawful possession of alcoholic beverages in South Florida, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm defends clients accused of juvenile offenses in Aventura, South Miami, Homestead, Miami, Coral Gables, and many surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (305) 249-0090 to receive a free initial consultation.
North Miami Minor in Possession Information Center
- What is the difference between actual and constructive possession?
- How can minors be punished if they plead guilty to or are convicted of this crime?
- Where can I find more information about minor in possession in Miami-Dade County?
Florida Minor in Possession of Alcohol Charges
Florida Statute § 562.111 makes it a unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years to have in her or his possession alcoholic beverages. The statute provides exceptions for minors acting in the scope of their employment or tasting of alcoholic beverages by students who are at least 18 years of age and tasting alcoholic beverages as part of their required curriculum at authorized postsecondary educational institutions.
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.
Minor in Possession Penalties in Miami
A second-degree misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. First-degree misdemeanor convictions are punishable by up to one 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.
Florida Resources for Minor in Possession of Alcohol Offenses
Underage Drinking Prevention | Florida Department Of Education — You can find links to multiple underage drinking resources on this section of the Florida Department Of Education website. View a list of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association’s Florida Community Coalitions, review fact sheets from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and access the portal of federal resources at Stop Underage Drinking. You can also find links to multiple reports from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
South Florida Coalition Alliance (SFCA) — The SCFA is dedicated to creating a safe and substance abuse free South Florida. Visit this website to find information about underage drinking as well as marijuana and prescription drugs. You can also find information relating specifically to Miami-Dade County.
Were you or your child issued a notice to appear or arrested in South Florida for allegedly being in unlawful possession of alcoholic beverages? Do not say anything to authorities until you have contacted The Hoffman Firm.
Miami criminal defense lawyer Evan A. Hoffman represents individuals all over Miami-Dade County, including Hialeah, Opa-locka, North Miami, Doral, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, and several other nearby communities. Call (305) 249-0090 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.