Monmouth County Minor in Possession of Alcohol 2017-04-28T18:00:00+00:00

Monmouth County Minor in Possession of Alcohol

Dedicated Legal Representation in Monmouth County and Ocean County, NJ

A charge of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor, also known as an MIP. The charge means that a minor, who in this case is a person under the age of 21, was given a citation for being illegally in possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage. The principal issue in most MIP cases, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, is whether you were in possession, ownership, or control of an alcoholic beverage.

Criminal Attorney Ian Goldman will work with you from the very beginning of your MIP case to help build a solid defense, put your case in the best light, and will work with dedication to help set your case apart from others. Obtaining great results for young clients and helping them keep a clean criminal record is extremely important to Mr. Goldman.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol

Minor in possession laws (sometimes called underage drinking laws) target sales of alcohol to minors and public possession of alcohol by minors. Since the passage in 1984 of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act (23 U.S.C.A. § 158), all states have had to raise their minimum drinking age to 21. States that did not risked lowering the amount of highway funds they receive under the Federal Highway Act. All states presently comply with the Drinking Age Act.

Importantly, the national law (and most state counterparts) target public possession, not private possession (although some states have additional laws concerning alcohol possessed or consumed on private property).

Experienced Criminal Lawyer Available Now To Assist You

If you have been arrested and have a past conviction in New Jersey, Contact IMGoldman Legal Group Monmouth County, NJ Criminal Lawyer for advice and representation from a knowledgeable and experienced Red Bank, NJ criminal defense attorney.

New Jersey Minor in Possession of Alcohol Laws and Penalties in Ocean and Monmouth County

A minor in New Jersey may not purchase, knowingly possess, or knowingly consume alcohol with few exceptions.

It is also illegal for minors to enter establishments licensed to sell alcohol for the purpose of purchasing (or attempting to purchase) alcohol, consuming alcohol on the premises, or to have an adult attempt to purchase alcohol for the minor on the premises. A minor or someone else may not misrepresent that minor’s age in order to induce the sale, service, or delivery of alcohol to the minor in such an establishment. (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-81.)

Adults are also prohibited from providing a place for minors to consume alcohol,  (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-17(b).)

New Jersey imposes fines and other consequences for violations of the above rules. These penalties differ depending on the violation.

Underage possession or consumption of alcohol. The presiding judge will fine violators $250 for a first offense of this type, and $350 for subsequent offenses. The minor’s driver’s license will also be suspended for six months, and the violation reported to the Division of Motor Vehicles. (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-81.)

Entering establishments that serve alcohol; drinking in such establishments; misrepresenting age to obtain alcohol. A violation of these laws is a civil disorderly person offense, which subjects the violator to fines and other consequences, but is not a criminal conviction. The violator will be fined at least $500. The court will also confiscate the violator’s driver’s license, suspend the license for six months, and forward the license and a report of the violation to the Division of Motor Vehicles, stating the first and last days of the suspension. The suspension covers the right to operate any motor vehicle, which includes motorcycles and motorized bicycles. (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-81.)

Non-New Jersey residents. The same fine and suspension periods apply to non-New Jersey residents; however, the court will not collect the license from the violator. Instead, the court will submit its report to the New Jersey motor vehicle division, and notify the appropriate officials in the state where the violator holds a driver’s license of the suspension time period. (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-81.)

Additional penalties. In addition to the penalties listed above, the judge may impose further penalties in the following circumstances.

  • Minors younger than 17. If the violator is younger than 17 at the time of license suspension, the suspension will begin on the day that the sentence is imposed, and will last for six months after the minor turns 17. (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-81.)

  • Operating a motor vehicle during period of suspension. At the time when the court suspends a violator’s driver’s license, the court will inform the violator of the additional penalties that will apply if the violator illegally operates a vehicle during the suspension period. The violator will have to sign a written receipt of this notice. However, if the court fails give such notice, subsequent penalties will still apply. (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-81.)

  • Education and treatment programs. In addition to the fine and license suspension described above, the judge may also require minors or adult violators to participate in alcohol education or treatment programs, which can’t exceed the time period of the applicable suspension or imprisonment. (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-81.)

Selling Alcohol to a Minor in Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

It is illegal in New Jersey to serve or sell alcohol to a minor. This includes selling to someone that an ordinary person would suspect is a minor, even if the buyer provides proof of age, such as a driver’s license or identification card. A violation of this law is a civil misdemeanor disorderly person violation, not a criminal offense.

However, the seller has a defense against having violated this law if:

  • the buyer provided state or federal photographic ID falsely showing that the buyer was of legal age to make the purchase
  • the seller relies on the proof of age and had no reason to believe that the ID is false, and
  • when looking at the buyer, an ordinary person would believe that the buyer was of legal age to purchase alcohol. (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 33:1-77.)

A violation of this rule carries either or both of the following penalties:

  • a fine of up to $1000 as decided by the presiding judge, and
  • up to 6 months’ imprisonment. (New Jersey Stat. Ann. Section 2C:33-17a.)

Monmouth County Minor in Possession of Alcohol Lawyer