Colorado Minor in Possession Attorneys
Persons under the age of 21 are prohibited from possessing or consuming alcohol or marijuana, and are prohibited from possessing marijuana paraphernalia. Violations of this law are typically referred to as an "MIP." Illegal possession or consumption is considered a "strict liability offense," meaning that, except in very specific circumstances, a person caught possessing or consuming alcohol or marijuana, or possessing marijuana paraphernalia, is guilty of a violation.
The Penalties You May Face
Illegal possession or consumption is an unclassified petty offense. Upon conviction of a first or second offense, the court may impose a fine of up to $100. In addition, the court may require the underage person participate in substance abuse education programs, submit to a substance abuse assessment and treatment, and perform community service. For a third offense or more, the court will impose a fine of up to $250, order substance abuse assessment and treatment, and order 36 hours of community service.
Despite these penalties, prosecutors are encouraged to enter into diversion or deferred judgment agreements with underage persons for possession or consumption violations. The best chance at getting diversion or entering into a deferred judgment is by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who can negotiate with prosecutors.
Record Sealing for Minors
After completing deferred judgment or diversion, or after paying the required fines and completing the court-ordered substance abuse education program for a first conviction, the court is required to seal the underage person's case so that it will not show up on their criminal history or as part of a background check. For a second conviction the person must file a petition with the court to have their criminal record sealed, and can only do so after one year has passed from the date of the second conviction.
Contact Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. for More Information
If you or your child has been charged with an MIP, our criminal defense team at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. is prepared to answer your questions, investigate whether special circumstances exist, fight your charges, and complete any necessary paperwork to have your record sealed. Our Colorado criminal attorneys at JBP can help ensure that an MIP is put behind you, allowing you to get on with your life.
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