The state of California sets down strict regulations for the possession of alcohol by individuals under the age of 21. These individuals are considered “minors” and they are not legally allowed to possess alcohol in any public area. A violation of this regulation can lead to prosecution under California Business and Professions Code Section 25662(a): Minor in Possession.
Use this article to learn more about BPC 25662(a). You can get information about:
- The definition of BPC 25662(a)
- The results of a conviction for BPC 25662(a)
- Some legal defenses for BPC 25662(a)
Get the information you’re looking for about minor in possession of alcohol charges right here from the Simmrin Law Group.
Go Over the Definition of Minor in Possession
Individuals under the age of 21 in California can be prosecuted under BPC 25662(a) if they are found to be in possession of alcohol while they are:
- On a street or highway,
- In a public place, or
- In a place that is open to the public.
Let’s go over the definition of a public place and a place open to the public to help clarify the uses of BPC 25662(a) charges.
Definition of a Public Place
The public is always allowed to visit and enter a public place in the state of California. A sidewalk would be an example of a public place. Barring construction and other disruptive events, the public can always enter public places.
Definition of Places Open to the Public
A place open to the public is actually a type of private property that the public is sometimes allowed to enter. A shopping mall could be a place open to the public. These locations can also be closed down and made unavailable to the public.
Consider Charges Similar to BPC 25662(a)
There are many other charges used to prosecute underage drinking in the state of California. Some common charges include:
- California Vehicle Code Section 23140: Under 21 DUI with a Blood Alcohol Content Between 0.05-0.07%
- California Business and Professions Code Section 25658: Selling or Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor
- California Business and Professions Code Section 25658(b): Purchase or Consumption of an Alcoholic Beverage by a Minor
Review the Penalties for a BPC 25662(a) Conviction in California
Minor in possession charges may be treated as infractions or misdemeanors in the state of California. Infraction charges are generally only used for a first-time offense. An individual convicted of an infraction can face:
- Fines of up to $250
- Community service of up to 32 hours
Individuals who are charged with a subsequent BPC 25662(a) violation can face misdemeanor charges in the state of California. A misdemeanor minor in possession conviction can result in:
- Fines of up to $500
- Community service of up to 48 hours
Focus on Legal Defenses for Minor in Possession Charges
There are several legal defenses that can be used to handle BPC 25662(a) accusations in the state of California. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can go over all of your legal options to help you build a strong defense. Depending upon your legal needs, a lawyer may work to prove that:
You Were Following the Reasonable Instructions of a Responsible Adult
Sometimes, minors are allowed to be in possession of alcohol in California if they were acting under the authority of a responsible adult figure. This means that you could avoid a BPC 25662(a) conviction if you were obeying a parent, legal guardian, adult relative, or adult designee.
You Were in Possession of Alcohol in a Private Area
BPC 25662(a) charges should only apply if an individual is in possession of alcohol in a public location. This means that if you were in possession of alcohol while in a private location, including your home, you could avoid a BPC 25662(a) charge in the court system.
You Are Immune from BPC 25662(a) Prosecution
Individuals in California may not be charged under BPC 25662(a) if they are in certain emergency situations. If you call emergency services to report alcohol use, and you are the first person who reports the alcohol usage, you could be able to avoid minor in possession charges in the state of California.
A Lawyer Can Help You with BPC 25662(a) Charges
Handle California Business and Professions Code Section 25662(a): Minor in Possession charges the right way by contacting the Simmrin Law Group immediately. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers are standing by to offer you a FREE consultation about your legal options if you are charged with a BPC 25662(a) violation.
You can get started on your legal defense today by calling (310) 896-2723 or completing our online contact form.