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What College Students Should Know about Minor in Possession (MIP) Laws in Michigan

Many states in the US have individual laws concerning minors who are found in possession of alcohol and drugs, regardless of whether or not they were using the substances. These are referred to as 'minor in possession' or 'MIP' laws. All students should be aware of the consequences that you can expect from being caught out as a minor with alcohol or drugs. 

Keep reading this article to learn more about MIPs and how they could impact your life.

What is a MIP?

From January 1 in 2018, the MIP law changed to better suit modern times. A minor (anyone under the age of 21) violates the law by having any bodily alcohol content above .02, or is found to be storing drugs or alcohol on their person.

Your First MIP Offence 

Your first MIP violation is classed as a civil infraction rather than a misdemeanor, and as infractions are minor violations of the law, you can expect to be punished by a simple fine of up to $100. The court can also order you to make the most of substance use disorder support, participate in community service or undergo screening and assessment at your expense.

Your Second MIP Offence

If you make the same mistake twice, you can expect a fine of up to $200 or alternatively up to 30 days in jail. Jail terms are exclusively for those who have violated an order of probation, failed to complete their treatment, screening, or community service, or failed to pay their fine. On second violations, the court may place a minor on probation and defer further proceedings. This arrangement gives them the chance to fulfill their probation terms without falling into the trap of a criminal conviction. You will only get one opportunity to resolve your offense with this type of discharge, so make it count. 

A second conviction can also take away your driver's license, as the Michigan Secretary can hold your license for 90 days offering a restricted license after 30 days but nothing more. 

Your Third & Subsequent MIP Violations

If you are found guilty of a third misdemeanor, then you can expect a fine of up to $500, or alternatively up to 60 days in jail for those violating probation, avoiding fines, or skipping treatment.  Those convicted of MIP with two or more prior offenses will have their driver's license suspended by the Michigan Secretary for 12 months, with the opportunity to get a restricted license after 90 days. 

Don't Forfeit Your Future For A Night Out

College parties can easily become hotbeds for risking arrest as a minor in possession of alcohol, even if you're not holding any alcohol at the time of the arrest. No matter in which circumstances you were arrested, MIP charges will ignite a serious legal situation. Your reputation at college may also be at risk, meaning the consequences of a conviction could end up costing you many thousands of dollars in lost tuition and fines, as well as leaving you an unattractive criminal record. It's totally not worth the risk, so utilize alcohol and drug prevention resources to stay on the straight and narrow.

Seek experienced legal help to resolve your case before it gets out of hand with the law offices of Ray Cassar. Give our team a call today to make an appointment