Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

In Florida, law enforcement frequently targets individuals under the age of 21 for possession of alcohol. They often monitor parties and college sporting events, in order to catch minors with alcohol. Although minors may not believe these charges are serious, a minor in possession charge (MIP) can lead to serious penalties such as jail time, license suspensions, probation, and the loss of educational opportunities. Any minor who has been charged with possession of alcohol should immediately seek legal representation from a Florida juvenile defense attorney. The sooner you obtain representation, the quicker your attorney can get started on defending you against these allegations.


If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of alcohol by a minor in Neptune Beach, Baldwin, Penney Farms, Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville, St. Augustine Beach, or the surrounding areas, contact Roelke Law. Bill Roelke is an experienced defense attorney who has the knowledge and resources necessary to reduce your charges, or potentially have your case dropped all together.

Take the first step in fighting your minor in possession charge by calling Roelke Law today at (904) 354-0333. Your consultation is free, and will provide you with the information and insight necessary to craft a strong defense.

Penalties for Possession of Alcohol by a Minor in Florida

Under Fla. Stat. § 562.111, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess alcohol, except in the course and scope of a legitimate business. According to Fla. Stat. § 775.082 and § 775.082, the penalties for possession of alcohol by a minor are as follows:

  • An individual who commits this offense is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, and/or up to $500 in fines.
  • Anyone who has been previously convicted of possession of alcohol by a minor will be charged with a first degree misdemeanor for any subsequent offenses of the same crime. A conviction for a first degree misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Under Fla. Stat. § 322.056, a minor who is convicted of illegally possessing alcohol will be subjected to a driver’s license suspension or withholding of issuance by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for six months to one year, or two years for subsequent offenses.

Definition of Alcohol Possession in Florida

I order for a minor to be convicted of illegally possessing alcohol, he or she must be deemed to have constructively or actively possessed alcohol. Proving possession is the most important aspect of the prosecution’s case. If the prosecution is unable to prove that the alleged offender had either actual or constructive possession of the alcohol, the charges against the alleged may be dropped. The two types of possession in Florida are as follows:

  • Actual Possession is when an individual has actual, physical possession of the alcohol, or has the alcohol on their body or in their immediate vicinity. Examples of actual possession are if the minor is holding an alcoholic drink in his or her hand, or has a bottle of alcohol in his or her backpack.
  • Constructive Possession has three requirements, and is usually more difficult for the prosecution to prove. The minor has to be aware that alcohol was in his or her vicinity, they knew it was illegal for them to possess the alcohol, and the alcohol was close enough for the minor to have actually possessed it. An example of this could be if an alcoholic beverage was on a table at a party and a minor was close enough to the drink to pick it up.

Roelke Law, P.A. | Jacksonville Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Attorney

Call Roelke Law today for a consultation about your allegations of criminal mischief in Keystone Heights, Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, St. Augustine, Hilliard, Orange Park, and the surrounding areas. Bill Roelke is a diligent Jacksonville defense attorney who will use his knowledge and tenacity to defend you against these charges.

Contact Bill Roelke at (904) 354-0333 for a consultation about you or a loved one’s possession of alcohol by a minor charge. Your initial consultation is free and is the first step in building a strong defense against these charges.

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