If your son or daughter has been charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol 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 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 in Colorado. Underage possession of alcohol is a strict liability offense, which means the prosecutor only has to prove the minor had or drank the alcohol —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 had the alcohol.
Possession or consumption of alcohol is classified as a petty offense in Colorado, punishable by a fine and public service. A second offense will cause the court to order alcohol education and treatment, in addition to higher fines and additional public service. A third offense can land the minor in jail for up to a year.
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 more than a hundred 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.