POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR
Under Florida Statutes Section 562.111, it is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to possess or drink an alcoholic beverage.
An exception to possession is if the person is 18 years or older and is acting under the scope of employment or as part of school curriculum.
Possession may “actual” or “constructive.”
Actual possession: the person is physically holding it.
Constructive possession: the alcoholic beverage is within reach and in a place that the minor can exercise control over and has knowledge that the beverage is in their presence.
The penalties for underage possession in Florida can range from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor if the individual has been previously convicted of the same offense.
1. Second-degree misdemeanor penalties:
a. Maximum of 60 days in county jail; or
b. Maximum of 6 months of probation; and
c. $500.00 fine
2. First-degree misdemeanor penalties:
a. Maximum 1 year in county jail; or
b. Maximum 12 months of probation; and
c. $1,000.00 fine
In addition to the above possible penalties, an underage person convicted of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor will automatically lose their driver’s license for 6 to 12 months for a first offense or 2 years for a second or subsequent offense.
Different defenses are available depending on the facts of the case, however, not every case will have a defense. The defenses can be legal or factual in nature such as:
Lack of knowledge;
Inability of the prosecutor to prove control;
Failure to preserve evidence;
Holding a drink for a friend and not knowing it was in fact alcohol;
Lack of probable cause.
Underage drinking is a common, but very serious charge. experienced in handling these types of cases, Our team can help a crime of this nature have less of an affect a minor’s future.
Case #: 18MM022270
Charge: Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Paraphernalia
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
Description: When pulled over, officers could smell marijuana coming from within the vehicle. Upon searching, officers found 15.2 grams of marijuana, a vape pen, a bong, and a cooler full of beer.
Results: Administratively Dismissed