M…I…P… Those three dreaded letters that no parent wants to hear. MIP stands for Minor in Possession of Alcohol.
There are multiple statutes in South Carolina that address the under-age possession/consumption of alcohol including 63-19-2440 (Minor in Possession of Beer), 63-19-2450 (Minor in Possession of Alcohol), 61-4-60 (Giving False Information to Purchase), and 56-1-515 (Altered Driver's License). These offenses are classified as criminal misdemeanors.
Although it may not seem like that big of a deal at first, the punishment for a conviction for violation of the above statutes is up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine with court costs. In addition, these offenses can have substantial collateral consequences including suspension of driving privileges, loss of scholarship, creation of a criminal record, issues with employment opportunities, and disciplinary proceedings by your College/University.
Because of the potential negative consequences, it is extremely important to seek legal advice and representation in these types of cases. There are programs available that make it possible to expunge the charge from your criminal record and avoid the criminal punishment and collateral consequences.
As an experienced attorney in Charleston, I have helped many local students with MIP cases. If you have any questions please contact me, Chris Skipper, for a free consultation. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (843)723-7177.