Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

What Are The Consequences Of A Minor In Possession Of Alcohol Conviction?


Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

The first consequence of a minor in possession of alcohol conviction is wage loss. People are often stunned as to how much damage something as seemingly minor as a minor in possession of alcohol charge can cause. Because it involves alcohol, it is considered a substance abuse charge. Employers, graduate schools and licensing boards don’t look at underage drinking from a minor in possession charge as a youthful indiscretion. Instead, they use it as a red warning flag for someone having a drug and alcohol substance abuse problem. If an employer hires somebody with a substance abuse problem, that’s a liability issue. Wage loss becomes the first concern because even if someone finds a job after an MPI conviction, it’s almost always at a lower salary or hourly pay rate. The damage from this seemingly minor charge can be lifelong if there is a conviction. If it’s wage loss alone, it can total up to well over a quarter of a million dollars. There are some circumstances where it could be measured millions of dollars over the course of someone’s lifetime.

The second consequence of a minor in possession of alcohol conviction is the ability to get into certain types of graduate schools. They’re going to look at things like this and they don’t want to admit people with substance abuse problems and that’s how they’re going to read this charge. The third consequence, in addition to wage loss and graduate and professional school difficulties, is the issue of a licensing board. If someone is going to go into a very regulated profession, such as nursing, being a medical doctor, law, certain types of accounting, real estate, aircraft piloting, I mean you name it, there are a number of them that are affected by this seemingly minor incident in someone’s life. Lots of people have been turned away from those types of professional schools and licensures simply because they had a minor in possession charge many, many years previous to the time they applied.

Minor in possession of alcohol charges follow the general rule when it comes to how to handle a criminal case. If a case is criminal then you hire a lawyer because that’s the smartest way to handle it with the highest degree of likelihood of success and the highest degree of likelihood of preventing an accidental damaging of one’s future career.

What Should I Do If A Minor In Possession Of Alcohol Charge Shows Up On My Background Check?

You should do what you should have done a long time ago and that was contact an attorney if a minor in possession of alcohol charge shows up on your background check. If that sounds harsh, I don’t need for it to be harsh. It’s just a reality. If someone calls me five years after they’ve had a minor in possession charge, a lot of factors have to be considered before I can give them meaningful advice. For example, if something went wrong during their handling of the case and they ended up with a misdemeanor conviction then they are out of luck. They are stuck with that misdemeanor conviction until and unless the Florida legislature changes the law, which under current environment, is unlikely. If anything, criminal penalties and punishments have gotten harsher in the last year or so. If the person had adjudication withheld and has no other criminal history then what we do is we petition to have the record sealed.

Unfortunately, it has to be sealed for 10 years before it gets expunged. Finally, it’s going to be more expensive to do digital erasure. Digital erasure is the process where you hire a company like erasemugshots.com or one of the other companies that do this type of work and they search the Internet with your name and other identifying information to make sure that when someone puts your name into a search engine that your criminal record doesn’t show up on the first page of the first 10 results. If someone has digital erasure done while their case is pending then it’s easier to snip these things early and get rid of them, but as time goes on then more and more sites pick up this criminal history information. The cost of digital cleanup five years down the road, six years down the road or more is much higher and it’s far more difficult. The best thing to do if you or someone you love is charged with minor in possession of alcohol is don’t even think about it and just hire a lawyer. If you hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer then you know the case is going to be handled correctly. If you try to do it on your own, you hope it might be handled correctly. There is a world of difference in skill level between someone who has never had a criminal charge in their life trying to represent themselves and someone who has done criminal defense law for decades such as myself.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

For more information on Consequences Of MIP Conviction In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 466-1522 today.

Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (850) 466-1522

Related Articles

Related Topics