Minor in Possession of Alcohol

In Massachusetts, it is not uncommon for a minor to be charged with the unlawful possession of alcohol or the unlawful purchase of alcohol. Police who raid teen parties routinely arrest minors who are in the vicinity of alcohol, or who have illegally purchased alcohol.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for the unlawful possession of alcohol, or the unlawful attempt and/or purchase of alcohol in the Boston area, contact Attorney Kathleen McCarthy for a consultation. Kathleen McCarthy has handled hundreds of criminal cases from initial arraignment to trial. Call 978-975-8060 for a consultation, or email minor in possession attorney Kathleen McCarthy, to speak with her directly.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, under M.C.L. 138 Section 34 (c), a minor, being under the age of 21-years-old, unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian, will be charged with the unlawful possession of alcohol if he/she knowingly possesses, transports, or carries on his/her person, any type of alcohol or alcoholic beverage.

The above section does not apply to a person between the ages of 18 and 21 years old possessing alcohol in the course of his or her employment. A police officer does not need a warrant to arrest a minor for the unlawful possession of alcohol. The police merely need probable cause.

The prosecution must prove the elements above in order to obtain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. As a skilled Massachusetts minor in possession criminal defense attorney, Kathleen McCarthy can obtain evidence to disprove the prosecutor’s case. For example, evidence that a minor is in the vicinity of alcohol will not prove the element of possession. Hence, just because a minor is at a party with alcohol present does not mean that he/she knowingly possessed alcohol on his/her person.

Penalties for Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Massachusetts

If convicted, the minor will be required to pay a fine of not more than $50 for a first offense. For a subsequent offense, the minor will be subjected to pay a fine of not more than $150. Further, although this crime does not carry a jail sentence, it will appear on the minor’s criminal record upon conviction.

In addition to the criminal fines that may arise if convicted, the minor‘s driver’s license will also be suspended for a period of ninety days from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The minor will have to pay a reinstatement fee to the RMV upon the completion of the 90 day suspension.

Minor Unlawful Attempt and/or Purchase of Alcohol in Massachusetts

Under M.C.L. 138 Section 34 (a), if a minor attempts to, or purchases alcohol/alcoholic beverage, or willfully misrepresents his/her age, with the intent of purchasing an alcoholic beverage, for personal use, or for the use of any person, he/she will be charged with the unlawful attempt to purchase alcohol in Massachusetts.

If convicted, the minor will be required to pay a fine of $300. The RMV will also be contacted upon conviction in which the minor’s driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days. The minor will have to pay a reinstatement fee to the RMV upon the completion of the license suspension.

Minor in Possession Criminal Defense Attorney

As a criminal defense attorney, Kathleen McCarthy knows firsthand the harmful impact a conviction can have on your criminal record. When applying to jobs and colleges, this conviction will appear on your criminal history report.

If this is your first offense, depending on the evidence asserted against you, Attorney McCarthy may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have your case removed from the criminal justice system and have you enter a diversion program. Juvenile offenders are provided the opportunity to participate in a diversion program as an alternative to sentencing. Programmers must attend classes on a weekly basis and learn about topics such as anger management and decision making, or self-esteem and peer pressure. Upon completion of the program, the prosecutor will dismiss the charge.

If a diversion program is not in your best interest, the charge can still be dismissed through a plea deal for community service, pre-trial probation, or a continuation without a finding.

Hire Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney Kathleen McCarthy

Attorney McCarthy has handled several minor in possession cases and has taken matters to trial when in the best interest of her clients.

As a former Boston Massachusetts Assistant District Attorney, Attorney McCarthy has insight into how to approach minor in possession matters with the Commonwealth in order to obtain a favorable result.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for the unlawful possession of alcohol, or the unlawful purchase of alcohol in Massachusetts, Attorney McCarthy invites you to contact her for a consultation. Call 978-975-8060 to speak with her directly. Kathleen McCarthy provides legal representation to residents of Suffolk and Essex County. She has defended clients in the Peabody District Court, Somerville District Court, and Boston Municipal Courthouse.