underage possession of alcohol lawyer
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Effectively Navigate Your Minor In Possession Case with Proven
Cherokee and Cobb County Criminal Defense Attorneys

Smyrna Minor in Possession of Alcohol Lawyer

Young people often experiment with alcohol, and when they get caught, they might face criminal or juvenile delinquency charges.

The attorneys at the Ghanouni Teen and Young Adult Defense Firm focus on preserving the futures of young people accused of crimes. Our legal team could help you or your loved one during this stressful time.

Contact the Smyrna underage possession of alcohol lawyers at our firm to learn how we can help you through the criminal or juvenile process to minimize the potential long-term consequences of the charge.

Alcohol Possession Can be a Crime for Anyone Under 21

Under most circumstances, the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages in Georgia is 21. Someone under 21 may not knowingly possess alcohol or attempt to purchase it, with limited exceptions.

The Official Code of Georgia § 3-3-23 describes the crime and its exceptions.

It is not illegal for a minor to drink alcohol when:

  • Alcohol is part of a religious ceremony
  • A doctor prescribes it as part of a medical treatment
  • A minor’s parents serve it to their child in their own home, and the parents are present

Note, however, that if a minor consumes alcohol in someone else’s home, they are breaking the law, even if they have their parent’s permission.

A Smyrna attorney could assist a young person and their family in resolving minor in possession charges with as little impact on the young person’s permanent record as possible.

Age Determines Where The Case is Heard

As the name implies, only teens and minors under 21 can face charges of being a minor in possession of alcohol. However, the age of the young person makes a difference in how the case is handled.

A young person who is 16 and under would face charges in the juvenile justice system. Juvenile court requires appearances before a judge, and the young person is entitled to legal representation. The juvenile system emphasizes rehabilitation and early intervention, and cases often can be resolved without creating a permanent criminal record.

Anyone 17 or older must go through the adult criminal courts. A conviction on an MIP charge could lead to a permanent entry on the young person’s criminal record.

At our firm, our Smyrna attorneys have experience handling both the juvenile and adult justice systems and have a working knowledge of the intricacies of how underage possession of alcohol charges are handled in either circumstance.

Our Criminal Defense Process is a Team Effort

When a young person and their parents consult with the team at the Ghanouni Teen and Young Adult Defense Firm, we take the time to get to know them and their goals for the future, both short- and long-term.

We look carefully at the accused’s version of events and consider the evidence the prosecutor might have. Then, we work together to create a defense strategy.

If the accused has not been in trouble with the law before and if there are no serious additional charges, we can often negotiate alternatives that will not result in a criminal conviction. Of course, when the evidence is weak, or our client is not guilty, defending the charge at trial might be the better resolution.

In many cases, there will be consequences, but often not the kind that prevents a young person from moving forward with their goals. When a crime involves drugs or alcohol, judges often require a young person to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and perhaps complete an alcohol or drug awareness education course.

These can benefit the young person. Judges also often impose requirements to be on probation, be drug and alcohol tested, pay fines and fees, or perform community service.

Rely on Our Smyrna Attorneys To Handle an Underage Possession of Alcohol Charge

Getting in trouble with the law is unnerving. When you or your loved one is facing criminal or juvenile charges, you may be uncertain about what steps to take or what effect it will have on your future.

Our team understands the potentially devastating long-term effects of a criminal conviction and will employ all our knowledge and skills to avoid it. Contact us to schedule a time to speak with a member of our legal team, where we can see if working together is a good fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the penalties for underage alcohol possession in Georgia?

For those charged in adult courts, the penalties for underage alcohol possession in Georgia can involve jail time, fines, probation, community service, a substance abuse evaluation, and any recommended treatment, and having a criminal record. For those charged in juvenile courts, jail time and an adult criminal record are not typically penalties.

Can teenagers drink with their parents in Georgia?

Yes. Georgia law allows parents to furnish alcohol to their children in their private residence as long as the parent or legal guardian provides the alcohol and is present during consumption. However, providing alcohol to teens other than one’s own children violates Georgia law.

Is a MIP a felony or misdemeanor?

In Georgia, first-time underage alcohol offenses are usually misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $300 fine.

Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm

Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm N/a
3227 S Cherokee Ln,Suite 1360
GA 30188
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(770) 720-6336
2765 S Main St,Suite C-2
GA 30144
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3826 Highlands,Parkway SE
GA 30082
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