If your son or daughter has been charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Minor in Possession of Marijuana in Colorado, their future is at stake. While the penalties for Minor in Possession in Colorado do not involve incarceration for a first offense, the threat of a permanent black mark on your child’s background check is cause for concern. Minor in Possession in Colorado is not a charge your child should face alone.
Colorado’s Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana, or Marijuana Paraphernalia, by an Underage Person law, C.R.S. 18-13-122, makes it a criminal offense for a person under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol, marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia in Colorado. Underage possession of alcohol, ,marijuana, or marijuana paraphernalia is a strict liability offense, which means the prosecutor only has to prove the minor had consumed or was in possession —the prosecutor does not have to prove mens rea, the minor’s mental state or intent . In other words, it does not make a difference under the law why the minor was in possession or had consumed alcohol and/or marijuana.
According to C.R.S. 18-13-122(2)(e) – “Possession of ethyl alcohol” means that a person has or holds any amount of ethyl alcohol anywhere on his or her person or that a person owns or has custody of ethyl alcohol or has ethyl alcohol within his or her immediate presence and control.
According to C.R.S. 18-13-122(2)(f) – “Possession of marijuana” means that a person has or holds any amount of marijuana anywhere on his or her person or that a person owns or has custody of marijuana or has marijuana within his or her immediate presence and control.
Possession or consumption of alcohol, marijuana, or marijuana paraphernalia, is an unclassified petty offense in Colorado, punishable by a fine and the court has the discretion to order a substance abuse education program. A second offense will cause the court to order alcohol education and treatment, in addition to higher fines and up to 24 hours of public service.
An Experienced Criminal Attorney Can Provide Strong Defense
While the penalties for Minor in Possession in Colorado may not seem severe for a first offense, a conviction can leave a lasting scar on a person’s criminal record and can devastate the minor’s occupational choices and future earning potential. This is why it is important to seek experienced criminal defense representation from an attorney familiar with the Colorado court procedures for Minor in Possession cases.
Denver criminal attorney Jay Tiftickjian has handled countless Minor in Possession charges as both a former Colorado Deputy District Attorney and a criminal defense lawyer. In numerous cases, he was able to negotiate a dismissal to the charge and later seal the minor’s criminal record, so the charge did not result in a lasting consequence to his client. If you or someone you love has a pending Minor in Possession charge in Colorado, give us a call at 303-384-5280 to discuss how we can help and minimize the long-term effects that a conviction will have.