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Michigan Minor in Possession (MIP)

What is an MIP?

An MIP is a misdemeanor under Michigan Law.  A minor (under 21 years old) can be convicted of an

MIP if the minor purchases, consumes, or possesses alcoholic liquor—or attempts to do so.  For a

first conviction, the sentencing judge may choose any or all of the following:

  • a fine not to exceed $100, as decided by the sentencing judge

  • order a period of supervision through probation

  • order the minor to participate in a substance abuse prevention program

  • order the minor to perform community service, and

  • order the minor to undergo substance abuse screening/assessment at their own expense.

For subsequent convictions, minors may be subject to harsher fines. Judges may also impose jail sentences if the minor violates probation or other court orders as part of the subsequent convictions.  

Avoiding a Conviction

At the judge’s discretion, defendants without prior convictions may be eligible for probation following a guilty plea that the defendant violated the MIP law.  Upon successful completion of probation, the judge may dismiss the charges against the defendant.  This means that the record of the case will not be available to the public, but it may be accessed by:      

  • judges, prosecutors, and police, for purposes of determining whether the individual has taken advantage of this option, and 

  • the department of corrections, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors, but only for employment purposes.

It is important to note that Defendants discharged in this manner may take advantage of this probation, discharge, and dismissal option only once and a judge must be convinced to take the case under advisement. 

Parental Notification

When the defendant is younger than 18 years old, law enforcement is required to notify the defendant’s parent,  custodian, or guardian of the nature of the minor’s offense within 48 hours of determining the minor’s age. This notification is required only when the identity of the parent, custodian, or guardian is reasonably ascertainable . If, however, a minor younger than 17 is put in jail for violating Michigan’s minor in possession law, the minor’s parents must be notified immediately.

Fraudulent Identification

Minors may not use fraudulent identification to obtain alcohol, nor may someone furnish fraudulent identification to minors. Providing false information to the police is a separate misdemeanor, punishable by either or both of the following:   

  • a sentence of up to 93 days in jail, as decided by the sentencing judge, and     
  • fine not to exceed $100.

Getting Legal Help

Bommarito Law can help you navigate though the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.  Speak with an attorney today for a free consultation to determine if there are ways to keep an MIP off your minor child's permanent record.