Has your child been charged with Minor in Possession?
If your child has been charged with minor in possession you probably have questions. The criminal defense attorneys at Copley Roth and Wilson LLC have the answers. A minor in possession charge can be a simple hiccup on what will be a normal productive life or it can be the beginning of a destructive path. Often, the way that this charge is handled with both your child, your attorney, and the court can be the difference between those two outcomes. Your child needs to understand the seriousness of the matter as well as the implications on their future but also needs to be reassured and supported at the same time. The criminal defense attorneys at Copley Roth and Wilson LLC know just how to maintain that balance while advocating for your child's rights.
Minor in possession cases are not always as open and shut as one would think, they can be defended and they can be beat. When the odds are stacked against your child the attorney's at Copley Roth and Wilson can do their best to mitigate the negative impact on your child. Here are a few commonly asked questions concerning minor in possession charges in Kansas.
If your child has been accused of Minor in Possession call (913) 732-3014 for a free consultation.
What is the Kansas Law on Minor in Possession?
The law on minor in possession in Kansas is lengthy and somewhat complicated because it involves a driver's license suspension. You need to sit down with a criminal defense lawyer that has experience working with both the Kansas Department of Revenue and the specific jurisdiction your child has received the charge. Here is the particular text of the minor in possession statute.
Purchase or consumption of alcoholic beverage by minor
(a) Except with regard to serving of alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage as permitted by K.S.A. 41-308a, 41-308b, 41-727a, 41-2610, 41-2652, 41-2704 and 41-2727, and amendments thereto, and subject to any rules and regulations adopted pursuant to such statutes, no person under 21 years of age shall possess, consume, obtain, purchase or attempt to obtain or purchase alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage except as authorized by law.
(b) Violation of this section by a person 18 or more years of age but less than 21 years of age is a class C misdemeanor for which the minimum fine is $200.
(c) Any person less than 18 years of age who violates this section is a juvenile offender under the revised Kansas juvenile justice code. Upon adjudication thereof and as a condition of disposition, the court shall require the offender to pay a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $500.
(d) In addition to any other penalty provided for a violation of this section:
(1) The court may order the offender to do either or both of the following:
(A) Perform 40 hours of public service; or
(B) attend and satisfactorily complete a suitable educational or training program dealing with the effects of alcohol or other chemical substances when ingested by humans.
(2) Upon a first conviction of a violation of this section, the court shall order the division of vehicles to suspend the driving privilege of such offender for 30 days. Upon receipt of the court order, the division shall notify the violator and suspend the driving privileges of the violator for 30 days whether or not that person has a driver's license.
(3) Upon a second conviction of a violation of this section, the court shall order the division of vehicles to suspend the driving privilege of such offender for 90 days. Upon receipt of the court order, the division shall notify the violator and suspend the driving privileges of the violator for 90 days whether or not that person has a driver's license.
(4) Upon a third or subsequent conviction of a violation of this section, the court shall order the division of vehicles to suspend the driving privilege of such offender for one year. Upon receipt of the court order, the division shall notify the violator and suspend the driving privileges of the violator for one year whether or not that person has a driver's license.
(e) This section shall not apply to the possession and consumption of cereal malt beverage by a person under the legal age for consumption of cereal malt beverage when such possession and consumption is permitted and supervised, and such beverage is furnished, by the person's parent or legal guardian.
(f) Any city ordinance or county resolution prohibiting the acts prohibited by this section shall provide a minimum penalty which is not less than the minimum penalty prescribed by this section.
(g) A law enforcement officer may request a person under 21 years of age to submit to a preliminary screening test of the person's breath to determine if alcohol has been consumed by such person if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has alcohol in the person's body except that, if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has been operating or attempting to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, the provisions of K.S.A. 8-1012, and amendments thereto, shall apply. No waiting period shall apply to the use of a preliminary breath test under this subsection. If the person submits to the test, the results shall be used for the purpose of assisting law enforcement officers in determining whether an arrest should be made for violation of this section. A law enforcement officer may arrest a person based in whole or in part upon the results of a preliminary screening test. Such results or a refusal to submit to a preliminary breath test shall be admissible in court in any criminal action, but are not per se proof that the person has violated this section. The person may present to the court evidence to establish the positive preliminary screening test was not the result of a violation of this section.
(h) This section shall be part of and supplemental to the Kansas Liquor control act.
What kind of punishment am I facing?
Depending on the age of the child the severity classification of the law may differ. If you are between the ages of 18-21 then you are facing a Class C misdemeanor.
Under Kansas Law 21-4502, a class C misdemeanor is limited as such:
"Class C, the sentence for which shall be a definite term of confinement in the county jail which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed one month."
There are also various different fines that a person can be subject to depending on their age ranging up to $500 per charge.
Perhaps the biggest punishment the minor faces is a Mandatory Driver's License Suspension
How much trouble is this really?
Your child is in some pretty serious trouble. Minor in possession is a low level misdemeanor that usually involves a fine and in extreme cases a jail sentence. But that is not all, it also has an additional non-criminal punishment that requires a MANDATORY DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSION. If you get convicted of minor in possession your license will be taken. A person that is accused of Minor in Possession needs to understand that court is not where the final trouble ends. If a defendant gets a conviction for minor in possession then they will have a criminal record. That criminal record will have to be disclosed on job applications, school application, professional license applications, et cetra. The conviction will follow you around and you will have to explain the criminal charge many times in your life. It will also be used against you to build your criminal history score if you get in any more trouble in the future.