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 Minor in Possession

Possession of an alcoholic beverage by anyone under the age of 21 is a criminal offense in South Carolina. The statute as well as the few exceptions to this law can be found here. Minor in Possession charges, also known as MIP, are frequently given as a result of a minor attempting to purchase alcohol and are sometimes accompanied by a fake ID charge. MIP charges are also commonly seen when a minor is found to be in possession of alcohol. MIP is a criminal misdemeanor that can result in the following:

  • Suspension of driver’s license (including out-of-state licenses) for six (6) months to one (1) year;
  • Hundreds of dollars in fines which can increase if the current charge is a subsequent offense; 
  • Up to thirty (30) days in jail;
  • University sanctions such as disciplinary hearings that can result in suspensions or expulsions; 
  • Loss of scholarships; and
  • Criminal record that will remain unless the conviction gets expunged. 

Because it is a misdemeanor, unfortunately many people mistakenly view this charge as simply a fine to be paid and fail to have a full appreciation for the negative lasting impact it can have on the minor’s life until it is too late.  As with all criminal charges, it is important to be represented by a knowledgeable attorney who can advise on the strengths and weaknesses of a case based upon the facts and the law, as well as the consequences of a conviction. A skilled lawyer can also inform you of possible options to resolve your case and work to negotiate the best possible resolution considering the minor’s current situation and, of course, their future.

One mistake or misunderstanding should not define a future. If you or a loved one are charged with Minor in Possession, give us a call at (864) 271-3535 to discuss your case and potential options available.

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