Michigan Minor in Possession First Offense
A first offense for Minor in Possession of Alcohol – MIP can be as bad as an assault and battery. This is because it is a criminal misdemeanor that will go on your criminal record as well as your driving record. How you and your family handle this event can make the difference between having a record and making sure your record is clean. This can be accomplished by the use of investigation, leverage and negotiation to obtain either a dismissal or diversion program.
How This Affects Your Future
A conviction for MIP may affect your:
- Driving Privileges
- Graduate Schools
Don’t let this mistake affect you in the future.
Call 1-269-383-6020 for a Free Consultation. After 5 p.m and on weekends please call 1-616-566-2106.
You Could Be Eligible for a Diversion Program or even a Dismissal of Your Charges!
I represent students from many different colleges and all across the State of Michigan. I am still shocked at how differently MIP cases are handled from court to court.
At one extreme, the judge serving Grand Valley State University in Hudsonville requires a cash bond of over $300 and you have to jump through extreme hoops to even ASK for his diversion program. If…and I mean if…you get the diversion program it is two years of your life being on probation.
At the other end of the spectrum, if your case is being handled by the City of East lansing, you could be eligible for a dismissal of your charges and a littering ticket.
Then there are the courts that run the spectrum of probation, diversion requests, blood alcohol level requirements, age requirements, and even the necessity of filing a formal petition to be considered.
The bottom line is that the statute is scary because it is MANDATORY for a minor to plead guilty to the MIP offense before they can even be considered for a statutory diversion program. This leaves many minors with uncertainly and no option if the judge or magistrate denies the diversion program for any reason. That is why I encourage everyone to have an attorney who knows the system and the process represent them to protect their future.
The amended MIP Statute now states that you could be ineligible for diversion if you had a juvenile adjudication for an MIP. This is arguable as many juvenile courts do not actually place kids on a formal calendar and handle cases on a “consent” calendar which is supposed to be non-public. If you have had any juvenile MIP cases and are now an adult, you should hire an attorney to argue on your behalf that you are still eligible for statutory diversion or possibly an alternative program like the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) or a delayed sentence agreement.
What is a diversion program?
The statutory diversion program offered by statute is very generous in that it defers any finding of guilt to allow for the completion of a probationary period. This is key component of the program in that the entire time the minor is on probation they have no obligation to mark on job applications, school applications, or student loan information that they have been convicted of a crime. The case is made non-public and cannot be seen by anyone other than the courts and law enforcement.
What is a dismissal and how do I get it?
A dismissal means that the prosecuting attorney files paperwork with the court indicating that the case cannot go forward and can NEVER be brought again. This is a dismissal WITH prejudice. The prosecutor can also dismiss cases WITHOUT prejudice and decide at a later time to re-charge.
The only real way to get a dismissal that I have seen is to establish leverage on the prosecuting attorney. This means that there is some defect in the case, in the procedure used by the police, or as an example the minor has already turned 21.
I have received numerous dismissals of MIP cases for a variety of reasons. The important thing to remember is that each case is very unique and has to be handled with individual attention to details.
A good example of a recent dismissal is where the minor refused to speak to the police (did not admit to drinking) and refused the PBT. He had prior MIP offenses and had nothing to lose by taking the case to a jury trial. On the day before jury selection, the prosecuting attorney dismissed the case.
Within the past two weeks, I had a case involving an MIP and possession of marijuana. The person was stopped in a vehicle leaving a party in a neighborhood with no real basis for the stop. This was confirmed by the ethical detective present at the pretrial conference and BOTH cases were dismissed.
I file motions in cases where it is appropriate and I like to tell my clients that you never know what will be said. Some officers tell the truth and the case is dismissed. Others testify to things that were never in the police report and the case is sunk. Again, you never would have known that without a motion hearing and testimony under oath
Call 1-269-383-6020 for a Free MIP Consultation. After 5 p.m and on weekends please call 1-616-566-2106.