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Los Angeles Minor in Possession of Alcohol Lawyers

Los Angeles Minor in Possession of Alcohol Lawyers

Under the California law, the Business and Professions Code (BP) 25662, It is illegal for a minor or any person under the age of 21 to be in possession of any alcoholic beverage in any street, highway or an open place deemed as public. A minor in this case is not only the underage but anyone above the age of 18 and below 21 years.

The law provides that it’s unlawful for a minor to possess any open alcoholic container in public that contains alcohol. Under this law, a minor can be charged with possession of open container, bottle or anything that contains alcohol and its seal has been broken. You could be cited for open container in violation of the law even if you were not drinking the alcohol. For instance, if a friend is consuming alcohol and hands over a bottle of alcohol to hold for a while as he visits the restroom, and you are not taking any alcohol, then you could be guilty of violating the container law. The law defines a public place as any city, amusement park, shopping center or any other public place owned by the city or the county. This law does not punish people for consuming alcohol in public, but rather on mere possession of an open alcohol container.

 

Prosecution

Under the Business and Professions Code 25662, a minor can be charged and convicted under the following circumstances:

  • If the minor was in possession of the alcoholic beverage;
  • If the minor was in a public place, or a street, highway that is open to the public;
  • At the time, the individual was under the age of 21years

It is worth noting that under certain circumstances it is legal for minor to possess alcohol or the alcoholic container, for instance if the minor was following some instructions from an adult. Under this law, it states that it is legal if the minor is following instructions from the parent, guardian, or any relative who is a responsible adult. This would be about delivering the beverage for instance from a car park to the house, or disposing of it in a trash bag. It would also cover the handling of the beverage as part of the occupation, such as serving an alcoholic beverage to a patron in a drinking place.

 

Penalties

A minor who violates Business and Professions Code BP 25662 would lead to:

  • A fine of $25 for the first-time offender;
  • A community service of 24 to 32 hours that does not interfere with school or employment hours.

Second-time offenders and any other subsequent offense against the law would lead to:

  • A fine not exceeding $500
  • A community service of 36 to 48 hours that does not interfere with employment or school hours.

Besides, the above-stated penalties; it would also affect the driving privileges. Under this law, anybody under the age of 21 convicted of alcohol possession will have their driving license suspended for one year, and if the person has not obtained the license, the court will notify the DMV to have the license delayed for one year after passing the driving test.

 

Defense to Business profession code 25662

To secure a conviction the prosecutor must prove that:

  • The minor was not following instructions from a parent or any responsible adult
  • The individual was acting on their own recognizance.

Therefore in defense against the charge of violating Business professions code 25662 will include:

  • No possession – Showing that the alcoholic beverage was in exclusive control of another person.
  • Possession in a private place – It is not unlawful to possess alcohol in a place that is not public, for instance in a private home.

 

Self-Reporting

California BP 25667 grants immunity to any person under the age of 21 from criminal prosecution for possession of alcoholic beverage, if they can establish that:

  • The individual called 911and reported that either he or someone else needed medical attention as a result of alcohol consumption;
  • He or she was the first to report to the 911;
  • He or she reported that another person was in need of medical attention and remained at the scene until the medical staff arrived and were coopering with either the medical staff or the law enforcers.

We are a longstanding law firm with vast experience in defending minors charged with alcohol possession in the state of California, for any legal advice or representation to get the best results in your case contact us.

 

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