Receiving a minor in possession ticket can be scary, especially if this is your first time getting into trouble with the law. You most likely know a friend — or even several friends — who have been in a seemingly similar boat. However, do not assume their situation is the same as yours. While it is true that plenty of college students wind up with minor in possession, or MIP tickets, not all cases are the same.
In this blog post, we are going to look at some of the bigger myths when it comes to MIP tickets in Boulder.
Myth 1: You will just get a slap on the wrist
This is a criminal matter, and like all criminal matters, you should not take it lightly. Whether this is your first offense or third offense, you are facing criminal consequences. Additionally — the courts are not going to look at this most recent ticket in isolation, but will be looking at your criminal record to see if there is any kind of pattern.
If you plead guilty to the charge or enter into a deferred judgment or deferred prosecution agreement, you will wind up paying a fine, completing a number of requirements, and having a criminal record, at least for the time being. If you do not fulfill the terms of your deferred prosecution, deferred judgment, or probation, you will wind up facing additional legal consequences.
If you do fulfill the terms of your deferred prosecution, deferred judgment, or probation, the record of your case can likely be sealed. You will need to take action to make sure that the record of your case is sealed. Some courts offer automatic file sealing, but such file sealings may ensure complete sealing of the record of your case.
Myth 2: Your college won’t find out
If you are caught drinking or possessing alcohol while you are under 21, you will most likely face additional consequences from the Office of Student Conduct at your university. These consequences will only get more severe if the college deems this is becoming a persistent issue for you. Consequences can include probation, suspension, or expulsion.
This means a MIP ticket has the potential to impact your criminal record and your academic life.
Myth 3: If you’ve gotten a MIP ticket before you know what to expect
The consequences you are facing will change depending on whether you have had previous MIP tickets. Prosecutors and courts impose more serious consequences for second and subsequent offenses. This is especially true if you are ticketed for MIP while on probation for a previous MIP charge. The same is true of universities.
MIP tickets are common, but still need to be handled appropriately in order to ensure that you maintain a clean criminal history and remain in good standing at school. It can be tempting to just go to court, plead guilty, and do your best to forget it ever happened. That is not the best choice. Rather, it’s better to fully educate yourself on what you are up against and what options may be available before moving forward with any type of plea or plea bargain.