Tag Archives: Wet and Reckless

Getting Out Of A Minor In Possession Violation In Missouri

Minor in Possession, MIP, DUI, SR22

Getting Out Of A Minor In Possession Violation In Missouri

Getting Out Of A Minor In Possession Violation In Missouri – Under Missouri law it is a misdemeanor for anyone under the age of twenty-one to purchase, attempt to purchase, or  have in his or her possession any intoxicating liquor;  to be visibly in an intoxicated condition; or to have a detectable blood alcohol content of more than two-hundredths of one percent.

In 2005, Missouri law was expanded to include so called “possession by consumption”, providing that prosecutors no longer needed to show that a minor actually purchased or possessed alcohol. Now merely appearing visibly intoxicated, or having a detectable B.A.C. will constitute a violation, even if there is no evidence of actual possession.

Many charges for Minor in Possession, also arise under the laws of individual cities, including Columbia, Missouri. The elements required to commit the offense are often almost identical to the State law, but there are often significant differences in the range of punishments available to the Prosecutor.

Remember: you do not need to operate a motor vehicle, or be over the State legal limit to be convicted of Minor in Possession. The fact that:

  1. You are younger than twenty-one (21) years of  age at time of the violation; and
  2. Had physical possession of alcohol; or
  3. Attempted to purchase alcohol; or
  4. Had detectable amounts of alcohol in your breath, blood, or saliva

may be sufficient to convict you of violation of the State of City Minor in Possession laws.

Abuse and Lose: Will I Lose My License?

Under Missouri’s Abuse and Lose law, 577.500 RSMo, charges for Minor in Possession, False Identification, or Drug Possession, can now impact your right to operate a motor vehicle, regardless of whether a vehicle was involved in your underlying offense. Currently, the application of the Abuse and Lose law turns on how your charge is filed. In the large majority of first time offenses, a skilled attorney will be able to avoid ramifications for your license.

Potential license suspensions include:

  1. First Offense: up to 90 days suspension.
  2. Second Offense: 90 days suspension, or 1 year revocation.
  3. Third Offense: 1 year revocation.

Remember: How the charge is written will largely determine the potential for license suspension or revocation. Often, the same set of facts that could potentially impact your drivers license can be charged so as not to take you off the road at all!

Criminal Punishment: Will I Go to Jail?

Violation of the Missouri Minor in Possession law can be punished by a fine of up to $1,000.00, or imprisonment in the County Jail for up to 1 year. As a practical matter, however, the majority of convictions will receive punishments significantly below these maximums. Jail sentences for minor in possession convictions are rare, unless there is some special or extraordinary  circumstance.

An experienced attorney can often minimize or avoid these punishments altogether. Through proper negotiation and strategy, it is often possible to serve probation in lieu of fines or imprisonment. As an added bonus, successful completion of such probation will often prevent any record of the underlying offense! It is therefore possible to come out of your ordeal with NO CRIMINAL RECORD!

Your Legal Rights!

Remember: You have a Constitutional right to the assistance of an attorney to defend against a minor in possession charge! An experienced attorney will be able to determine:

  1. Whether your acts in fact violated the law or ordinance in your Jurisdiction;
  2. Whether your constitutional rights to be free of unreasonable search and seizure were respected;
  3. Whether your drivers license is at risk, and what can be done to protect it;
  4. Whether you are entitled to an affirmative defense excusing you from liability; and
  5. Whether despite guilt you are entitled to probation in lieu of conviction and thereby clean criminal record.

If you or someone you know is facing license suspensions or loss of driving privledges due to an MIP, call us at 1-855-GET-SELECT (1-855-438-7353)

Boating Under The Influence

BUI, Boating under the influence, DUI, Law, Wet and Reckless

Boating Under The Influence

Boating Under The Influence  – You may think that operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is legal, but it is not. In fact, boating under the influence (BUI) is a crime under federal and state laws. The U.S. Coast Guard routinely patrols our waterways and can arrest you the same as if you were driving a car under the influence. The law pertains to everything from canoes and rowboats to large ships.

Below, you will find a list of frequently asked questions regarding BUIs including a definition of the crime, penalties, and more. If you want more information, see www.selectsr22insurance.com.

Q: Can law enforcement pull me over in my boat, just like in a DUI case?

A: Yes, state and federal law enforcement officials can pull a boat operator over on suspicion that the operator is driving a boat while under the influence, just like they can when you are driving a car.

Law enforcement officials may also set up checkpoints on the water, just like roadside DUI checkpoints, to question and check boat operators for Boating Under the Influence (BUI). Some states do not even require “probable cause” for law enforcement officials to be able to board your boat. In Delaware, they can just do it.

Even if they don’t charge you with violating federal laws prohibiting boating while intoxicated, federal authorities like the U.S. Coast Guard can also hold and transfer you to state authorities for additional prosecution.

Q: Can I lose my boating license or permit from a BUI conviction?

A: Perhaps. It depends on your state’s boating regulations and other laws. A lawyer can help you with this important question.

Q: Do many people have criminal convictions for boating while drunk?

A: Yes, and with more states focusing on BUI violations, the number doesn’t appear likely to decrease. A BUI conviction often has the same consequences as a DUI conviction.

Q: Do I have to go to jail for a BUI conviction, or do I only have to pay a fine?

A: The answer depends on your state’s boating and criminal laws, the particular violations that you are accused of, and the legal penalties for a particular conviction. Often, a state’s BUI laws and penalties mirror the state’s DUI laws and penalties.

Q: Do I have to submit to a Breathalyzer or blood test?

A: Whether you are allowed to refuse a breathalyzer test varies from state to state. If you don’t know, it might be wise to politely decline. Doing so in some states like Pennsylvania, however, could result in an automatic suspension of your boating privileges. In other states like Florida, your license cannot be automatically suspended for refusing to submit to a BAC test.

Q: Can I be subjected to a field sobriety test?

A: Probably. State authorities may ask you to “walk and turn,” recite a particular phrase, or other tasks. The general purpose of field sobriety tests is to help determine if you are able to perform the basic functions required to safely operate a boat or other watercraft. Some of the field sobriety tests used are not necessarily applicable on the water though, because the boat you are on may prevent even a sober person from passing the test. In this situation, a Breathalyzer test is more likely.

Q: Even if I’m convicted, can’t I just perform “community service?”

A: Probably not. Many states require people convicted of BUI offenses to attend mandatory boater education classes, as well as alcohol and drug counseling. If you are convicted of a criminal offense, you will have a criminal record. Depending on the severity of the conviction (i.e., if it is a felony or misdemeanor), you could face severe legal consequences and restrictions.

One option you may have is called a “wet reckless” which is similar the same term used in DUI law. The prosecutor may give you the option to plead guilty in exchange for a charge with smaller penalties, like recklessly operating a watercraft.

Consult with an Experienced Expert like Select Insurance Group for FREE by calling 1-855-GET-SELECT (855-438-7353)

 

 
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