It’s not uncommon for teens to experiment with drugs and alcohol. However, that doesn't mean doing so has no consequences. Even if your teen never gets behind the wheel while under the influence, they could get in serious trouble just for being in possession of alcohol. If your child is facing charges for minor in possession, seek legal advice; there is a lot at stake. In the meantime, here’s what all parents should know about the offense.
In the state of Connecticut, possessing alcohol, drugs, or paraphernalia in public or on private property is illegal for those under the age of 21. Offenders can be cited for violating this law regardless of whether they are in or near a motor vehicle at the time of the incident.
While a conviction for minor in possession is neither a misdemeanor nor a felony—in Connecticut, a first offense is classified as an infraction—it still carries serious penalties. For example, some penalties include a license suspension that lasts 30 days if the minor is found on private or public property, 60 days if they have alcohol on a street or highway, and 60 days if they are found with marijuana anywhere. If they don’t already have a license, they will be prohibited from obtaining one for 150 days.
Unfortunately, the penalties for minor in possession crimes tend to burden parents more than the actual offender. For example, parents are forced to drive their teen everywhere until their license is restored.
They may also have higher auto insurance premiums. A conviction will go on your teen’s driving record, which the insurer has access to when calculating your family’s rates, so seek legal advice if your child has been cited. While letting them handle the repercussions may seem like a fair punishment, such penalties will have more serious effects than you’d think.
If your teen has been charged with minor in possession, turn to The Law Offices of Conti, Levy and Salerno, LLC. for legal advice. Located in Litchfield County, CT, this firm offers a broad range of services. Led by two seasoned partners who have 75 years of combined experience in the field, they know how to resolve even the most complicated legal issues. To get legal advice from a criminal defense attorney, call (860) 482-4451 or contact them online.