** Important info – start at the 3rd paragraph!
MIP is categorized by Florida Statutes as a second degree misdemeanor offense. Therefore, it is a criminal charge and not an infraction.
If you enter an oral or written plea for the charge, it will go on your criminal record. In addition, MIP is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months probation, and a $500 fine.
Approximately 90% of the time, those charged with MIP in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, or elsewhere in Okaloosa County, are given Notices to Appear and Written Plea Forms.
MIP’s (the minors) are often instructed by law enforcement to fill out and complete the form, and send it to the respective county’s clerk of court.
These same officers will tell young defendants that Possession of Alcohol is not a big deal, and they do not need an attorney. Just pay the fine and be done with it.
This is incredibly stupid advice because by signing it, you are pleading guilty or no contest, and you will have a permanent criminal record. If in in school, you may very well may lose any scholarships you have.
Alternatively, there is no harm in contacting a criminal defense attorney that is willing to give a free consultation, and give you the correct advice.
Don’t take legal advice from a cop! Talk to someone who will be on your side. If you, or your child, has received a citation for minor in possession or alcohol possession under 21 in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, or elsewhere in Okaloosa County or Walton County, Contact Attorney Shawn Lupella to discuss your options free of charge.