If you have been charged with having an open intoxicant, it usually goes along with a Minor in Possession of Alcohol – MIP- charge. The major problem the an open intoxication charge is that it carries with it a maximum possible sentence of 93 days in jail. While first offenders will rarely see any jail time if convicted, you could face jail time if you are placed on probation and violate the terms put in place by the trial judge.
With an MIP conviction, even if you are placed on probation you cannot face any jail time for a first offense per that MIP statute. However, for a second or third offense a minor can face jail time only if they violation probation.
Another problem with being charged with open intoxicants is that there is no statutory diversion program available if you are convicted. This is different than an MIP charge as the MIP statute specifically provides prosecutors and judges the ability to place a minor on probation and have the conviction dismissed after successful completion of the program. With an open intoxicant charge, the options available to prosecutors and judges are limited. You may be able to plead guilty and ask the judge to be considered under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), but many judges consider this as a last resort and are hesitant to have the minor use this option. Even with HYTA, the minor could face jail time if placed on probation for open intoxicant.
If you have been charged with multiple crimes such as MIP, Open Intoxicant, Resisting and Obstruction (running from the police in any way), you need to have experienced defense counsel by your side at EVERY court hearing. This includes the initial arraignment. If you make a mistake and plead guilty to these charges, your future could be irreparably damaged.
Contact MSU grad and MIP attorney Raymond Purdy today for a FREE Open Intoxicant consultation.