Detroit Attorneys Explain Michigan’s New MIP Law

Detroit Traffic Attorneys Explain
Michigan’s New MIP Law

Today (January 1, 2018) Michigan’s new Minor in Possession (MIP) law went into effect. This change in the law does not make it legal for a minor (person under 21) to consume alcohol, however it does revise the law to reduce the severity of the charges and penalties.

Before the new MIP law went into effect, any MIP would be classified as a misdemeanor (whether ta first-offense or not) and would appear on the individual’s arrest record. In effect, an MIP used to give a young person a criminal record.

Under the new law, a first offense MIP is now a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor.  This means your first MIP is punishable only by a fine – much like a traffic infraction ticket. But a second, or any subsequent MIP violation will still be a misdemeanor under the new law.

Facts About Michigan’s New MIP Law

Michigan New MIP Fines & Penalties

  • The MIP fine is $100 for a first offense. There is also the possibility of community service and substance abuse classes.
  • The Court can also order a minor to undergo substance abuse screening and assessment at his or her own expense.
  • There is no jail time for an MIP now, whereas under the old law you could be sentenced up to 90 days in jail, even on a first offense.
  • Their may be additional consequences imposed by the Secretary of State and/or the minor’s school or university.

Michigan MIP & Criminal Records

  • A first offense MIP will not appear when an employer or other entity is conducting a criminal background check.
  • However, first offense MIP is a civil infraction, so it is a public record and can be found if someone searches the district court’s “case search” database.
  • A first offense MIP offense will also be kept in the non-public segment of your Michigan driving record  – so it will be visible to law enforcement.

Fighting a 1st Offense MIP Ticket

  • There is no court appearance necessary for an MIP, however you must respond within the timeframe listed on the ticket.
  • You must either pay the fine, or notify the court you will be contesting the ticket, within the timeframe.
  • If you don’t respond in the timeframe, you will be found in default, automatically “lose” and be assessed late fees in addition to the fine.
  • If you wish to “fight” your MIP, you should discuss your case with an experienced MIP attorney to ensure you get the best possible representation.
  • You may also qualify for “Medical Amnesty” which exempts minors from prosecution if they voluntarily initiate medical services for treating an alcohol or prescription drug overdose.

Second Offense MIPs

  • Second Offense Minor in Possession charges are misdemeanors. This means they are a crime and you will have a publicly-visible criminal record if you are convicted.
  • Anyone who has received an MIP at anytime in the past (before or after the new law) will be considered having a second offense.
  • If a minor has an alcohol infraction in another state and is then issued an MIP in Michigan, the Michigan infraction can be considered a second offense (misdemeanor).
  • Under the new law, a second MIP offense is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine.
  • A third offense MIP can result in a sentence of up to 60 days in jail plus a $500 fine, as well as revocation of the minor’s driver’s license.

Detroit’s Best MIP Ticket Attorneys

Our experienced Detroit traffic attorneys know how to fight an MIP ticket – whether it is a 1st, 2nd or 3rd offense. Our attorneys will examine every detail of your case, and present a strong defense to achieve the best possible result in MIP case. Remember, even if your MIP is not a misdemeanor under the new law, it can still result in hours of community service, costly substance abuse testing (“dropping”) and have ramifications with your school, university, and the Secretary of State.

If you are facing an MIP in Detroit, Wayne County, Oakland County or Southeast Michigan our experienced attorneys will offer you a FREE & CONFIDENTIAL consultation. Call us today. We can help.