If you are the parent of a teen, you are probably (understandably) pretty proud of them most of the time. Maybe your teen brings home excellent grades and is an honors student. Maybe your teen is dedicated to extracurriculars and is very service minded. Maybe your teen has a spotless driving record and is considered a leader. All of these things can make it even more shocking to get the news that your teenage son or daughter has been charged with a minor in possession (or MIP) in Charlotte, North Carolina.
How can your kid, the kid who does so well at everything, be facing drug charges in North Carolina? This isn’t supposed to happen to you — it’s supposed to happen to other families. Where could you have gone wrong? What is going to happen to your teen? How could something like this happen to you?
Minor in possession charges are certainly nothing to joke about, but whatever the situation, there is good news. Even though it is almost certainly startling for you to see your teenage child in this kind of situation, with the help of a good Charlotte, NC defense lawyer you should be able to handle these charges relatively easily. If your teen is facing minor in possession charges in Charlotte, NC, contact the law offices of Remington & Dixon right away, and let us help you ensure that these drug charges will not affect the life of your teen more than they have to.
What is a Minor in Possession Charge in Charlotte North Carolina?
A minor in possession charge is a kind of crime faced only by minors who are discovered to be in possession of drugs or alcohol. In the case of a minor in possession charge, the substance in question is usually alcohol. In many cases, these kinds of charges are issued with the goal of educating teens about the dangers of alcohol and drugs rather than issuing strict punishments. As a result, penalties for a minor in possession charge are generally imposed for the purpose of education and reformation rather than punishment. Some of the penalties imposed for minor in possession charges in North Carolina may include “community punishment” which is like probation, and fines. The duration and amount of these penalties vary depending upon the severity of the offense. It is also sometimes possible for the attorneys at Remington & Dixon to work out an arrangement with the District Attorney’s office to have these charges dismissed upon completion of a drug education school for first-time offenders.
Charges of minor in possession could also affect the school your teen attends if the alcohol or drugs were discovered on school property. This means that in addition to legal action taken by the state of North Carolina, your child may face administrative penalties imposed by the school itself. Depending upon your teen’s school’s policies regarding drugs and alcohol on school grounds, you may need to worry about a suspension, probation, or potentially expulsion.
Exceptions to the Minor in Possession Rules
In the case of alcohol, the state of North Carolina recognizes a few exceptions to the law which prohibits minors from being in possession of, or consuming, alcohol. Those exceptions are:
- Religious observance – A minor is permitted to possess and consume sacramental wine for religious purposes in a church.
- Employment – Minors are permitted to possess, as well as transport and dispense alcohol if they are employed by a business with a valid alcohol license. Note that this exemption does not include consumption of alcohol, which remains prohibited.
- Education – Minors who are under the supervision of an instructor in a licensed culinary program are permitted to possess and consume alcohol only when required by the curriculum.
Selling Alcohol to Minors in North Carolina
Just as it is illegal in North Carolina for a minor to be in possession of alcohol, it is illegal to sell or to give alcoholic beverages of any kind to a minor. A seller may have a valid defense against this law if there is a photo ID which seems to show that the buyer was of legal age, or if the seller relies upon other facts at the time of the purchase which seemed to reasonably indicate that the buyer was older than 21.
The minor in possession of the alcohol, on the other hand, enjoys no such exceptions in this case.
Is Your Teen Facing Minor in Possession Charges in Charlotte, NC? Get Legal Help.
Since local attitudes and procedures regarding minor in possession laws tend to vary from community to community, it is important to speak with a lawyer well versed in drug charges and minor in possession cases in Charlotte, NC, in particular. By working with one of the experienced attorneys at Remington & Dixon in Charlotte, NC, you will have the best chance of seeing the best possible outcome for you and your teen.