MIP Charge in Vancouver Washington

picture of underage drinking before an mip chargeIf you are facing an MIP charge in Washington, Vancouver WA criminal defense lawyer Roger Priest can help.  The laws can be harsh for underage drinkers.  Also, charges for minor in possession of alcohol or marijuana in Washington can cause a license suspension.  If you are facing an MIP charge, call to schedule a free lawyer consultation today.  Getting good advice and representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of a minor in possession charge.

Even if you think the police caught you dead to rights drinking underage, it might be possible to beat the charges.  Some MIP charges are hard to prove in court, even if you know you were guilty.  Only an experienced attorney can help you decide whether you have a good defense to the charge.  Furthermore, there may be sentencing alternatives that can help you avoid a conviction on an underage drinking charge where there is no legal defense.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Washington

RCW 66.44.270(2) makes it illegal for anyone under 21 years old to have or drink alcohol or to be in public while exhibiting the effects of having drank alcohol.  Violation of this law is considered a gross misdemeanor in Washington and is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine.

Minor in Possession of Marijuana in Washington

RCW 69.50.4014 and RCW 69.50.360 makes it illegal to possess 40 grams or less of marijuana unless you are 21 years old or older.  Violation of this law is considered a simple misdemeanor in Washington and is punishable by up to 90 days jail and a $1,000.00 fine.  Under the current laws, possession of over 40 grams of marijuana is punishable as a felony for an individual under 21 years of age.

License Suspension

If you are convicted of an MIP charge for either alcohol or marijuana in Washington, the court will notify the Department of Licensing (DOL) of the conviction.  The DOL will then send you a letter (to the address they have on record for you) informing you that your license will be suspended beginning 45 days later.  The length of the license suspension depends on your age and whether this is your first MIP charge.  The license suspensions are as follows:

Type of OffenseLength of Suspension
First Notice1 year or until you turn 17 years old (whichever takes longer)
Second Notice (or more)2 years or until you turn 18 years old (whichever takes longer)