Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Students Facing Underage Drinking Charges at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti
Students at Eastern Michigan University often enjoy parties on the weekends through Greek Life, at bars and restaurants around Ypsilanti, and at the apartments of other students on campus. However, it is important to know that any use of alcohol by a student under the age of 21 is a criminal offense that can result in misdemeanor charges if you are found guilty of this offense more than once.
If you are facing underage drinking charges, it is important to speak with an experienced Ypsilanti criminal defense attorney about your case. You do not want to have an underage drinking conviction on your record, and an experienced lawyer can help you to fight these charges.
What is Underage Drinking Under Michigan Law?
Under MCL 436.1703, minors are prohibited from underage drinking, which can be charged as a Minor in Possession (MIP) offense. The statute prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from doing any of the following:
- Purchasing alcohol;
- Consuming alcohol;
- Possessing alcohol; and/or
- Having any bodily alcohol content.
Any minor who purchases or attempts to purchase alcohol, who consumes or attempts to consume alcohol, who possesses or attempts to possess alcohol, or is found to have any alcohol content in his or her body can be found guilty of a minor in possession.
How Ypsilanti Police Prove that Eastern Michigan University Students are in Violation of the MIP Law
It is important for underage students at Eastern Michigan University to understand the ways in which the police can prove that there was a violation of the minor in possession law. Generally speaking, there are three different ways that law enforcement officials may be able to prove a violation of MCL 436.1703:
- Minor is in actual or constructive possession of alcohol: This means that the police either find you carrying alcohol on your person (actual possession), or find you in a place where there is alcohol, such as at a house party on the Eastern Michigan University campus (constructive possession).
- Breath test results: If the police administer a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) which shows a minor to have a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or higher, the minor can be charged with an MIP law violation.
- Admission of alcohol consumption: If an underage student is stopped by the police, the police might try to encourage the student to admit that she or he consumed alcohol. This admission of alcohol consumption can be used against the student and as evidence that the student violated Michigan’s MIP law.
Contact a Michigan Divorce Attorney Helping Clients in Ypsilanti
Being charged with a Minor in Possession is serious for any student at Eastern Michigan University. A conviction can remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life, and it can affect your ability to obtain certain jobs or particular professional licenses. You can fight these charges with the help of a dedicated Michigan underage drinking defense attorney. Contact the law office of Paul J. Tafelski today for more information about how we can help with your defense.