What Can I Do About a First Offense MIP In California? 6 Answers as of June 29, 2011

Me and my brother were at a concert in Chula Vista CA. We were sitting in his car and he had a beer. When he turned to talk to his friend I poured some of his beer in a cup just about an inch full because I was thirsty and didn't want to pay $6 for water. A cop saw it and gave me a misdemeanor for MIP and gave my brother a misdemeanor for furnishing alcohol to a minor. What would be the best way to get him off the hook because he didn't know about it. How can I avoid losing my license?

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Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux | Scott Tibbedeaux
Cal Bus & Prof Code 25658 25658. Sale to and consumption by person under 21 years of age; Use by peace officers to apprehend sellers of alcoholic beverages to minors (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 years is guilty of a misdemeanor. (2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), any person who violates subdivision (a) by furnishing an alcoholic beverage, or causing an alcoholic beverage to be furnished, to a minor shall be punished by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), no part of which shall be suspended, and the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed and is not attending school. If you are convicted of using alcohol or a controlled substance and you are between 13 21 years of age, the court orders the DMV to suspend your driver license for one year. If you do not have a driver license the court orders DMV to delay your eligibility to apply for a driver license. You may also be required to complete a Driving-Under-the-Influence (DUI) program. Any restriction, suspension, or probation will continue for its full term past your 18th birthday. Other, stronger actions may be taken if your driving record justifies them. Remember, if your driving privilege has been suspended or revoked, you may not drive in California.- DMV In regard to the MIP, according to the DMV, the courts can order DMV to revoke your license if you are convicted of being in possession of alcohol. It is unlikely that you could avoid losing your license. In regard to your brother and his misdemeanor, according to the code your brother could be convicted by simply causing the alcoholic beverage to be furnished. He knew that there were minors in the car with alcohol and that there was a possibility that a minor could drink the alcohol. Turning a blind eye to the act is not a defense to breaking the law.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/29/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Your best bet is hire a lawyer or get a court appointed lawyer if you can't afford it and try to get the case dismissed maybe in exchange for doing an alcohol program. Some judges will do that. If not you may have to go to trial. As to your brother same thing. It sounds like he actually is innocent.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/22/2011
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
You could lose your license up to a year, not to mention that a misdemeanor is a criminal offense and stays on your record as such. Contact an experienced lawyer, who may be able to work out some agreement with the Judge whereby you do a class to earn a dismissal.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/22/2011
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
In order to be found guilty of furnishing alcohol to a minor the DA is going to have to prove that your brother provided you the alcohol. A police officer will likely testify that he observed your brother doing so. OF course if you have any witnesses other than you and your brother you should get a statement from that person. Of course your brother should retain a lawyer to help him. As to your MIP matter, you do not want to plead guilty under any circumstances to an MIP because you will lose your driving privilege for one year.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/22/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Get him off?? Your options are to fight it or plead guilty. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to not talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. While this isn't a 'capital case', you face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. You can hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. He will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    I know it's a relatively low level offense, but because of the license consequences, it's important you don't mess around with this. You each need an attorney to represent you. Yes, attorneys cost money, but think about not having a license for a year. Find a criminal defense attorney that routinely practices in the court where your case will be heard. They may be able to work this out and avoid a conviction for this charge and save your license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
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