Minor in Possession of Alcohol

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a minor in possession charge in Orange County, an experienced attorney may be able to help with your case. In California, minor in possession of alcohol charges are covered under Business and Professions Code 25662. Possession of an alcoholic beverage by anyone under 21 years of age in a public place is a crime under this law.

The term “alcoholic beverage” includes alcohol, liquor, spirits, beer, that contains one half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume that is fit for beverage purposes either alone or when diluted, mixed, or combined with other substances.

Minor in possession of alcohol charges are classified as misdemeanors in California, even though the penalties for this crime only include fines and community service. However, even though you may not be facing jail time for these charges, it is important that you fight them since if you are convicted, these charges will permanently stay on your criminal record. If you or someone you know is facing charges of minor in possession of alcohol in Orange County, an experienced attorney can help with your case.

Often minors will face additional penalties with the DMV if they are convicted with of a minor in possession. Under Vehicle Code 13202.5, minors who have a driver’s license may have their driver’s license suspended for a year and minors who do not have a driver’s license will have their ability to obtain driving privileges delayed for an additional year. Additionally, each time a minor receives an underage alcohol or drug related conviction, they may also receive an additional year of having their driver’s license suspended.


In order to convict a person of a minor in possession, the prosecution must prove:

  1. The defendant possessed an alcoholic beverage in a public place; and
  2. At the time, the defendant was under 21 years old.

An experienced lawyer can assist you in fighting your case and may be the reason you are able to keep these charges off your permanent record. Although the burden of proof on the prosecution may seem simple, possession can be more complicated than you would think.

There are many ways that you could be charged with a minor in possession of alcohol offense, but having an alcoholic beverage in your hand is not the only way that you can be charged with this crime. If you had control of the alcohol beverage at any time and it is still in the area of your control, you could also be charged with this crime. This is called constructive possession. For example, if you were in a restaurant, took a sip of a beer, and then put the beer down on the table, you could still be charged with minor in possession. Additionally, you can be charged with a minor in possession if you shared possession of the alcoholic beverage with another person, i.e. passing a beer back and forth with a friend. You both jointly share possession of the alcoholic beverage. However, possession is key to being charged with this crime, because a minor may not necessarily be charged with simply consuming the alcohol itself.

Orange County defense attorney William Weinberg is an experienced lawyer in Orange County who has many years of experience defending clients charged criminal cases. He will consider your case free of charge and advise you of your options. Mr. Weinberg takes the time to individually review each potential client’s case to provide a plan that works best for their circumstances. To reach him please contact his Irvine office at 949-474-8008 or by emailing him at bill@williamweinberg.com.

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He was open, honest and compassionate (qualities you don't always find in an attorney) and his credentials proved that he is more than qualified to handle this complicated case. JoAnn H.
Not only did [my case] get resolved with great efficiency, [Mr. Weinberg and his team] were very open with me and kept the lines of communication flowing which I appreciated greatly. Ryan T.
There are many things about our conversations that told me that bill was an honest guy and knew what he was talking about. Amy C.