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What to know about a minor in possession charge

If you're underage and are caught drinking, you face a minor in possession charge. This charge is usually placed against those between the ages of 13 and 17. Minor in possession charges get filed for the possession of alcohol or for any offenses that involve firearms. It can also be used when a person between the ages of 13 and 20 is found guilty of a drug offense.

Minor in possession penalties apply to those under 18 of all ages if they're found in illegal possession of a firearm or commit any other offenses while in possession of a firearm used during the act. For instance, robbing a store while possessing a firearm could lead to a minor in possession charge and conviction.

What happens to juveniles if they're found guilty of minor in possession charges?

Convictions result in a juvenile losing the right to his or her driver's license. The revocation lasts up to the date of your 17th birthday. If you're already 17, the revocation lasts up to a year. This is for a first offense. On a second offense, you can lose your license for as long as two years or until you're 18th birthday, whichever is longer.

If you're convicted of possessing firearms, you won't be able to have your license reinstated early, but you can seek reinstatement of your license for drug or alcohol possession a year after your 17th birthday or a year after the conviction, whichever is longest if it's your first offense.

By law, no one may issue any kind of license to you while you're penalized for minor in possession charges. You can't receive a restricted license or get an instruction permit. If you feel your license is unfairly revoked, you can appeal the revocation through an administrative review.

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