Skilled Defense Against Charges Related To Minors And Alcohol
Under pressure to conform to state laws, bars, clubs, gaming casinos and other alcohol-serving establishments in Colorado are taking a tougher stance on minors in possession of alcohol and on people contributing to the delinquency of a minor, including friends or family providing alcohol to a minor. While some of these acts are considered lower-level crimes like misdemeanors and petty offenses, others like contributing to the delinquency of a minor are felonies and cannot just ruin your record, they also can ruin your life.
If you are facing charges, as a minor or adult, contact the experienced defense attorneys at Shazam Kianpour & Associates, P.C., today. With more than 20 years of combined experience, we pride ourselves on our ability to effectively communicate with prosecutors, judges and juries, along with our abilities to get results for our clients both in negotiations and in the courtroom.
What Does It Mean To Contribute To The Delinquency Of A Minor?
In Colorado, anyone who helps or encourages a person under the age of 18 to commit any type of illegal behavior can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. This charge is very broad and can theoretically range from an adult helping a child get an alcoholic drink, to encouraging or helping a child to sell drugs.
Do not underestimate the seriousness of these charges. In Colorado, contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a felony. Further, if you are a current or former employee of a school district in Colorado, the Department of Education will be informed of any conviction against you.
A Minor In Possession (MIP) Charge Can Threaten Your Child’s Future
In Colorado, illegal possession or consumption of alcohol by an underage person, which is sometimes referred to as a minor in possession (or MIP), is considered a petty offense. However, a guilty finding by a court or jury in cases like this can attach a bias and stigma to your child that can potentially follow them for the rest of their life!
The problem with these cases is twofold: Not only is it easy to prove in court by the prosecutor (it doesn’t matter why the minor had alcohol, the district attorney just needs to show that the minor had possession), it is also an alcohol-related crime that goes on a permanent record, so future employers, law enforcement, lenders and landlords are likely to assume that the person has had a lifelong alcohol problem.
Additionally, an MIP conviction can make it harder to successfully resolve any future run-ins with the law. If your child ever faces additional criminal charges or even a speeding ticket, the district attorney’s office has a record of prior alcohol-related offenses like the past MIP in Colorado. They will use that as leverage to argue for harsher sentencing sanctions, possible jail time on the new case, or an excuse not to offer a good deal on the new charges.
What Are The Consequences Of An Underage DUI In Colorado?
The term “underage DUI” is admittedly confusing because there is no age at which drunk driving is legal. Instead, the charge is related to underage drinking followed by getting behind the wheel. But, unlike DUI for adults, consuming nearly any amount of alcohol before driving could result in a charge and conviction for a minor.
For people 21 or older, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher is typically necessary to be convicted of DUI. If you are under 21, however, a BAC level as low as .02 percent can result in a conviction. In short, if you are under 21, drink one alcoholic beverage and get behind the wheel, you can be charged with DUI.
What Options Are There To Fight These Charges?
Our team is fully committed to helping you obtain a fair resolution to the charges you are facing. We will investigate to find any weaknesses in the state’s evidence, and we will seek to arrive at the best possible result for your case whether it is a dismissal of the charge or a plea to a different, lesser offense.
We will explore every possible defense against your charge such as the following:
- Determining whether or not the initial traffic stop violated your constitutional rights
- Analyzing the breathalyzer machine to determine whether it was accurate
- Determining whether or not your blood, breath or urine test was handled correctly
We will also defend you before the DMV hearing to avoid suspension of your driver’s license and against any related alcohol charges such as minor in possession (MIP). Our aggressive, thorough approach to protecting your rights can lead to favorable results, including the dismissal of certain charges or plea agreements to lesser charges.
Discuss Your Legal Options With Experienced Attorneys For Free
If you’ve been charged with any of the criminal offenses discussed above, it is important to take immediate steps to protect your rights, including contacting an experienced lawyer. Our law firm answers phones 24 hours a day to be in better contact with our clients. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, you can contact our criminal defense attorneys by email or call us at 720-407-2582.