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Understanding Colorado Minor In Possession (MIP) Cases – C.R.S. 18-13-122 – Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Series

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Juvenile Crimes – Criminal Defense Lawyer for MIP Cases.

Understanding Colorado Minor In Possession (MIP) Cases - C.R.S. 18-13-122 -  Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Series


Understanding Colorado Minor In Possession (MIP) Cases – C.R.S. 18-13-122 – Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Series

Understanding Colorado Minor In Possession (MIP) Cases – C.R.S. 18-13-122 – Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Series – The illegal possession and – or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage person is commonly known as MIP – or Minor in Possession. The impact of this almost rite of passage crime on a young person’s life and the effect of this charge on their right to drive in Colorado – is the purpose of this article.

The law is simple: Any person under twenty-one (21) years of age who possesses or consumes ethyl alcohol anywhere in the state of Colorado commits illegal possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage person.

Illegal possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage person is a strict liability offense. (C.R.S. 18 -13-122(2)(a) That means the juvenile’s actual intention is not relevant to a conviction.

What Is The Law – If You Are Convicted Of An MIP In Colorado?

It is critical that you read the entire law for yourself – here is a LINK to the actual and complete law as this article is intended only to summarize the law and to highlight portions of the provisions of the law.

[For A ] First offense, illegal possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage person shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars.

The court, upon sentencing a defendant pursuant to this paragraph (b), may, in addition to any fine, order that the defendant perform up to twenty-four hours of useful public service, subject to the conditions and restrictions of section 18 – 1.3 -507, and may further order that the defendant submit to and complete an alcohol evaluation or assessment, an alcohol education program, or an alcohol treatment program at such defendant’s own expense. (C.R.S. 18 -13 -122(2)(b)(I))

[For A ]Second offense, illegal possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage person shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, and the court shall order the defendant to submit to and complete an alcohol evaluation or assessment, an alcohol education program, or an alcohol treatment program, at the defendant’s own expense. The court may further order the defendant to perform up to twenty – four hours of useful public service, subject to the conditions and restrictions specified in section 18 -1.3 – 507. (C.R.S. 18 -13 -122(2)(b)(II).

[For A] Third or subsequent offense, illegal possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage person shall be a class 2 misdemeanor, and the court, in addition to sentencing the defendant pursuant to the provisions of section 18 -1.3 – 501, shall order the defendant to submit to and complete an alcohol evaluation or assessment, an alcohol education program, or an alcohol treatment program, at the defendant’s own expense. ((C.R.S. 18 -13-122(2)(b)(III))

[HMS – Impact On The Juvenile’s Right To Drive In Colorado]

The department of revenue shall immediately revoke the license or permit of any driver or minor driver upon receiving a record showing that such driver has been convicted of:

[Consumption Only]

Possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol under the age of twenty-one (21) pursuant to C.R.S. 18-13-122 (2); or

[Fraudulent Purchase]

Obtaining or attempting to obtain alcohol beverages by misrepresenting his or her age in any place where alcohol is sold when under twenty-one (21) years of age pursuant to C.R.S. 12-47-901 (1)(b); or

[Public Possession]

Possessing alcohol beverages in or on: any store, public place, public street, alley, road, highway, property owned by the state of Colorado, or vehicles when such a person is under twenty-one years of age pursuant to C.R.S. 12-47-901(1)(c).

AND

[Impact of Failing To Complete Alcohol Education and Treatment Program]

Has failed to complete an alcohol evaluation or assessment, an alcohol education program, or an alcohol treatment program ordered by the court in connection with the conviction;

OR

Has a previous conviction for C.R.S. 18-13-122(2), 12-47-901(1)(b) or 12-47-901(1)( c ). (C.R.S. 42-2-125 (1)(m))

[Period Of Loss Of Driver’s License]

Any Person who has his/her license revoked pursuant to C.R.S. 42-2-125 (1)(m) shall be subject to a revocation period that shall continue for the period of time described hereafter:

After a first conviction and failure to complete an ordered evaluation, assessment, or program, THREE MONTHS;

After two convictions, SIX MONTHS;

After any third or subsequent conviction, ONE YEAR

Are There ANY Defenses To Minor In Possession Charges In Colorado?

Although Minor In Possession is considered a strict liability crime – there are defenses – which if factually true – amount to defenses to the charge.

Defense 1 – the juvenile didn’t actually possess the alcohol, – under Colorado law “mere presence” at the scene of a crime is NOT a criminal act.

Defense 2 – the juvenile was acting as a courier of the alcohol with the permission of an adult such as an employer – a parent or guardian and therefore possessed it for a valid and very limited purpose,

Defense 3 – the police violated the constitutional rights of the juvenile when they investigated the case – the alcohol was seized as a result of an illegal search and seizure,

Defense 4Colorado’s New Good Samaritan Law – the juvenile was intoxicated when he or she called 911 to save the life – or to otherwise help another juvenile who needed medical help.

Here is the Good Samaritan Provision:

(7) An underage person shall be immune from criminal prosecution under this section if he or she establishes the following:

(a) The underage person called 911 and reported in good faith that another underage person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol or marijuana consumption;

(b) The underage person who called 911 provided his or her name to the 911 operator;

(c) The underage person was the first person to make the 911 report; and

(d) The underage person who made the 911 call remained on the scene with the underage person in need of medical assistance until assistance arrived and cooperated with medical assistance or law enforcement personnel on the scene.

Defense 5 – Parental Permission – Your parent or guardian gave you permission to consume alcohol.

Here is the actual law applying to this defense:

(10) A parent or legal guardian of a person under twenty-one years of age or any natural person who has the permission of such parent or legal guardian may give or permit the possession and consumption of ethyl alcohol to or by a person under twenty-one years of age under the conditions described in paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of this section. This subsection (10) shall not be construed to permit any establishment which is licensed or is required to be licensed pursuant to article 46, 47, or 48 of title 12, C.R.S., or any members, employees, or occupants of any such establishment to give, provide, make available, or sell ethyl alcohol to a person under twenty-one years of age.

Other Defenses To Colorado MIP Charges

Colorado has many other exceptions that amount to defenses under this law – non-alcohol serving premises – medical purposes – educational purposes – religious ceremonies; government purposes coercion, involuntary intoxication, mental capacity, drugged without knowledge.  see the entire law – Click Here… COLORADO MIP LAW

Colorado Police Will Seize Alcoholic Beverages in the Possession of a Minors

If a police officer is lawfully on the premises – such as a block party – or a home where the officer gained lawful entry – and the alcoholic beverages are clearly in plain view – they will be seized and destroyed or held as evidence

You Need Not Be Drunk

A juvenile does not need to be “legally intoxicated” in order to be charged with an MIP. If you look – act – smell like you have been drinking a ticket is usually issued.

Sealing An MIP Is Simple And Easy – You DO NOT Need A Lawyer

The law provides for sealing of an MIP even upon a conviction – here is the relevant section of 18-13-122:

(13) Sealing of record.

(a) Upon dismissal of a case pursuant to this section after completion of a deferred judgment or diversion or any other action resulting in dismissal of the case or upon completion of the court-ordered substance abuse education and payment of any fine for a first conviction of subsection (3) of this section, the court shall immediately order the case sealed and provide to the underage person and the prosecutor a copy of the order sealing the case for distribution by the appropriate party to all law enforcement agencies in the case.

(b) Upon the expiration of one year from the date of a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of subsection (3) of this section, the underage person convicted of such violation may petition the court in which the conviction was assigned for an order sealing the record of the conviction. The petitioner shall submit a verified copy of his or her criminal history, current through at least the twentieth day prior to the date of the filing of the petition, along with the petition at the time of filing, but in no event later than the tenth day after the petition is filed.

The petitioner shall be responsible for obtaining and paying for his or her criminal history record.

The court shall grant the petition if the petitioner has not been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any felony, misdemeanor, or petty offense during the period of one year following the date of the petitioner’s conviction for a violation of subsection (3) of this section.

Understanding Colorado Minor In Possession (MIP) Cases – C.R.S. 18-13-122 – Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Series

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR : H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Juvenile Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic of this article –Understanding Colorado Minor In Possession (MIP) Cases – C.R.S. 18-13-122 – Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Series, please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm today.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving the subject of this article -Understanding Colorado Minor In Possession (MIP) Cases – C.R.S. 18-13-122 – Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Series.


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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