When a minor is caught by law enforcement and arrested for an alcohol-related offense in South Carolina, one of the first things they often do is call their parents for help. For a parent receiving this type of call from their child, the situation can seem surreal. Many parents are in disbelief that their child would be involved in some sort of alcohol-related criminal offense, but these situations happen more often than you might think. If your child has been charged with an alcohol-related offense, such as minor in possession charge, it is important that you get in touch with an experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Minor In Possession Charges In South Carolina
Minor in possession, also referred to as MIP charges, is one of the most frequently charged alcohol-related offenses in South Carolina for minors. Under Section 63-19-2440 of the South Carolina Juvenile Justice Code, it is illegal for someone under the age of twenty one to be in possession of alcohol. Limited exceptions apply to this prohibition, but if your child is calling you from jail, it is unlikely that one of the exceptions applies to your teen’s situation. While minor in possession is only a misdemeanor criminal offense in South Carolina, it is still something that you and your child should take seriously.
My Teen Got An MIP Charge! What Should I Do?
The first thing to do if you learn that your child is facing a minor in possession charge is to not panic. While you might be surprised or disappointed with your child’s alleged misconduct, the important thing to do now is to obtain the best possible outcome for your child based on his or her particular circumstances. You can help your child do this by contacting a Charleston, SC alcohol offenses criminal defense attorney who has experience handling minor in possession cases like the one you and your child are facing.
You should schedule a meeting with your chosen defense attorney to discuss the facts of the case and everything that happened during the arrest. Your lawyer can help you and your child decide the best defense strategy to use in your particular situation. It is important to remember that while you might be taking your child’s alcohol-related offense charges personally, you are not on trial. The offense and charges belong to your child, as does his or her legal representation. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is likely your teen’s best chance to getting the charges either reduced or dropped completely. An attorney can also help to get your child placed into an alcohol education diversionary program instead of facing prosecution.
Speak With A Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Minor in possession, along with any other underaged alcohol-related offense, can mean serious consequences for a young person if they are convicted. Jail time, fines, a criminal record, mandatory community service and alcohol education programming are just some of the potential consequences of being convicted—not to mention consequences related to school and scholarships.
Please do not hesitate to contact the criminal defense lawyers at McCoy & Stokes, LLC for assistance with your case.