FAQs of MIP in Ohio
August 7, 2019
It’s important to understand what the Minor in Possession laws in Ohio are if your teen has been arrested for the possession of drugs or alcohol. The last thing you want is for your teen to be found guilty for something that they didn’t do or to experience overly harsh consequences that could affect their future. Because of this, you should speak with an attorney that is experienced in matters dealing with MIP laws in Ohio. Before you do, the following are a few common questions concerning MIP laws in Ohio that will give you a better understanding about the MIP charges and potential consequences your teen is facing:
What Are the MIP Laws?
Even though it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink, here in Ohio it’s also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to be in possession of alcohol or drugs. This means that even if they have a blood-alcohol level of 0, they can still be charged with possession of alcohol if they are under the age of 21. Basically, if you’re under 21 and you’re caught with alcohol or drugs on your person, then you can be arrested, charged, and convicted even if you didn’t consume any alcohol or take any drugs.
Are There Exceptions to the MIP Laws?
There are a few exceptions to the MIP laws when it comes to alcohol. These exceptions include the following:
- If the person under 21 was in the presence of a parent or guardian and had their consent.
- If the person under 21 was in the presence of a legal aged husband or wife.
- If the person under 21 had alcohol or prescription drugs in their possession for a specific educational, medical, or religious purpose.
What Are the Possible Consequences of an MIP?
Ohio law tends to be a little more lenient when it comes to first-time offenders as well as individuals who were under the age of 18 (meaning, minors) at the time of their arrest. The following are a few of the possible consequences of being convicted of an MIP:
- Individuals under the age of 18 found guilty of possessing alcohol can face up to a $250 fine and/or upwards of 30 days in jail.
- Individuals between 18 and 21 face fines up to $1,000 and upwards of six months in jail.
- If the individual was in a motor vehicle at the time of the arrest, their license can be suspended.
It’s also worth noting that while the legal BAC limit for adults in Ohio is .08, for minors it’s .02. This means that if a minor is pulled over and they have a BAC of 0.02 or above, they can be charged with a DUI, which is treated as a misdemeanor of the 4th degree.
Are There Any Alternatives to the Statutory Penalties?
If it’s the person’s first offense, they have the option of entering a guilty plea that the judge will not accept. Instead, they can be required to attend classes and/or perform community service. Once the requirement is met, the charge will be dismissed and the conviction won’t appear on their record.
What if an Adult Gave the Teen Alcohol or Drugs?
Individuals cannot provide anyone under 21 with alcohol unless they are that person’s legal guardian, parent, or legal-aged spouse. They cannot provide minors with alcohol even if their parents provide permission. Doing so can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and upwards of six months in jail. You will also be held liable for that child’s actions or injuries while under the influence.
These questions and answers should give you a basic idea of what the MIP laws are like here in Ohio. However, to get more detailed information and advice concerning your specific MIP case, be sure to contact us at Michael E. Bryant today.