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With very little fanfare, the Michigan legislature made some major changes to the state’s minor in possession laws.  If you or your child has been charged with a Michigan Minor in Possession – MIP, whether or not it is as a juvenile or adult, you need to take these charges very seriously. Here is a summary of some of the key points of the new law:

Michigan Compiled Laws Section 436.1703:

  • When an individual who has not previously been convicted of or received a juvenile adjudication for a violation of subsection (1) pleads guilty to a violation of subsection (1) or offers a plea of admission in a juvenile delinquency proceeding for a violation of subsection (1), the court, without entering a judgment of guilt in a criminal proceeding or a determination in a juvenile delinquency proceeding that the juvenile has committed the offense and with the consent of the accused, may defer further proceedings and place the individual on probation.

What this means: The key part buried in this section of the statute is that “When an individual who has not previously been convicted of or received a juvenile adjudication“…  This simply means that if you have had a minor in possession of alcohol in juvenile court you may be prohibited from asking for it as an adult. This is very problematic as juveniles were not told that this could affect their future in adult court.

  • A violation of subsection (1) successfully deferred, discharged, and dismissed under subsection (3) is considered a prior violation for the purposes of subsection (1)(b) and (c).

What this means: This is one of the scariest parts of the statute.  A prior discharge and dismissal can count as a prior and subject you to jail time if you violate probation.  There is still a question as to whether this applies to those discharged before June 1, 2012.

  • The parent, guardian, or custodian of a minor under 18 years of age not emancipated under 1968 PA 293, MCL 722.1 to 722.6, may request a random or regular preliminary chemical breath analysis as part of the probation.

What this means: This means that if you are 17 years old and considered an adult for criminal purposes, your parents can still get involved and demand regular testing. This could be problematic if you are facing potential jail time for a second or third offense.

  • A law enforcement agency, upon determining that an individual less than 18 years of age who is not emancipated under 1968 PA 293, MCL 722.1 to 722.6, allegedly consumed, possessed, purchased alcoholic liquor, attempted to consume, possess, or purchase alcoholic liquor, or had any bodily alcohol content in violation of subsection (1) shall notify the parent or parents, custodian, or guardian of the individual as to the nature of the violation if the name of a parent, guardian, or custodian is reasonably ascertainable by the law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency shall notify the parent, guardian, or custodian not later than 48 hours after the law enforcement agency determines that the individual who allegedly violated subsection (1) is less than 18 years of age and not emancipated under 1968 PA 293, MCL 722.1 to 722.6. The law enforcement agency may notify the parent, guardian, or custodian by any means reasonably calculated to give prompt actual notice including, but not limited to, notice in person, by telephone, or by first-class mail. If an individual less than 17 years of age is incarcerated for violating subsection (1), his or her parents or legal guardian shall be notified immediately as provided in this subsection.

What this means: This may be used as a defense and is still being tested. There may be a challenge to consent issues and Miranda if parents are NOT notified as required by statute. Either way, it means that you will not be able to keep this from your parents and simply “plead guilty” and get it over with.

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The Law Offices of Raymond A. Purdy, PLLC | 821 West Savidge St. Spring Lake, MI 49456 | Phone: 1-616-502-1646 | Fax: 1-616-842-5735