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Minor in Consumption of Alcohol

A charge of Minor in Consumption, also known as an MIC, is a Class “C” misdemeanor. The charge means that minor, who in this case is a person under the age of 21, was given a citation or MIC ticket for consuming an alcoholic beverage. Unlike an MIP, possession is not enough. A prosecutor must prove that the minor has actually consumed the alcoholic beverage. This crime does not apply if an individual is within visible presence of and has the consent of their adult parent, legal guardian, or spouse.

Austin MIC Lawyer

If you have been ticketed with an MIC in Austin, Texas, contact Austin MIC lawyer Kevin Bennett. Kevin Bennett defends MIC tickets in Austin on a regular basis. He can help you with all aspects of your case, including expunction. Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to set up a consultation.

Attorney Kevin Bennett only handles MIC tickets that occurred in Austin or Travis County, Texas. If your minor in consumption of alcohol case occurred outside of Austin or Travis County, please contact an attorney in that county.


Minor in Consumption of Alcohol


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Texas Minor in Consumption of Alcohol Law

TEXAS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CODE § 106.04. 
CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR. 

(a) A minor commits an offense if he consumes an alcoholic beverage. 

(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the alcoholic beverage was consumed in the visible presence of the minor's adult parent, guardian, or spouse. 

(c) An offense under this section is punishable as provided by Section 106.071. 

(d) A minor who commits an offense under this section and who has been previously convicted twice or more of offenses under this section is not eligible for deferred disposition. For the purposes of this subsection: 

(1) an adjudication under Title 3, Family Code, that the minor engaged in conduct described by this section is considered a conviction of an offense under this section and 

(2) an order of deferred disposition for an offense alleged under this section is considered a conviction of an offense under this section.


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Defenses to Minor in Consumption of Alcohol in Austin

Under Texas law, there are several affirmative defenses or exceptions to the general rule of prohibiting someone under the age of 21 from consuming alcohol. The circumstances that allow a minor to consume alcohol and possibly avoid prosecution can include:

  • If the minor consumed the alcohol in the visible presence of their adult (over the age of 21) parent, guardian, spouse or other adult that is legally responsible for the minor; or
  • If the minor requested emergency medical assistance for themselves or someone else with a possible alcohol overdose. Eligibility for this exception requires that the minor must have been the first person to call for help, they remained on the scene until medical help arrived and that they cooperated with medical and law enforcement personnel.

If none of the above defenses apply in your case, it is important to understand that there are additional defenses to underage consumption of alcohol. The central issue in a MIC case is whether the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a minor consumed alcohol.  Possible evidence of consumption of alcohol by a minor could include:

  • An officer’s observation of the minor actually consuming alcohol
  • The smell of alcohol on the minor’s breath or person
  • Admissions of alcohol consumption by the accused

Regardless of the evidence of alcohol consumption, there are many ways to protect your criminal record from an MIC charge. Whatever the circumstances of your MIC charge in Austin, an experienced Travis County criminal defense attorney can explain all of your options and fight to have the case reduced or dismissed.


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Punishment Ranges for Minor in Consumption of Alcohol in Texas

The penalties for minor in consumption of alcohol (MIC) in Texas are serious and can negatively impact you or your child’s future. According to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.04, consumption of alcohol by a minor is a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas and is punishable by a fine of up to $500. Like an MIP, a first offense for MIC also carries eight to 12 hours of community service, a mandatory alcohol awareness course approved by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and a 30-day  suspension of your Texas driver's license.

If a minor has 2 or more prior convictions for MIP, MIC or DUI, the MIC charge can be enhanced to a Class B Misdemeanor, which carries a fine between $250 and $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, a six-month driver's license suspension and between 20 to 40 hours of community service. If the minor has a prior conviction for any underage alcohol offense under the code, the minor can also be ordered to complete an alcohol education course. Under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, a prior deferred disposition order is considered a conviction for purposes of enhancement.


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Additional Penalties for Underage Drinking

Underage drinking may seem like minor crime, but the collateral consequences of an MIC conviction are often the harshest. Having an alcohol offense like an MIC on your criminal record can hurt your ability to be accepted to the college or graduate school of your choice, can limit your scholarship or financial aid opportunities and can affect your future employment options. A skilled Austin MIC lawyer will understand how to best defend an underage consumption of alcohol offense and work with you to develop a defense that may be able to get your MIC charge dropped or dismissed. 


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MIC Ticket in Texas

If you are under the age of 21 and consume an alcoholic beverage, you can be issued an MIC ticket and with charged Minor in Consumption of Alcohol. The fine for underage drinking or Minor in Consumption of Alcohol can be up to $500. However, the fine for an MIC ticket is rarely the most serious consequence a minor faces. An MIC charge can have serious consequences to a person’s criminal record if not defended properly. A ticket for criminal charge like this can cause a person to lose out on job opportunities, education opportunities and many other future opportunities.

If you have received an MIC ticket in Austin, Texas, it is in your best interest to consult with a lawyer to discuss your options. Many minors make the mistake of trying to represent themselves in their MIC case. This decision rarely works out well and often leads to a conviction, driver’s license suspension and a criminal record. 


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Kevin Bennett | Minor in Consumption of Alcohol Attorney

If you have received a ticket for Minor in Consumption of Alcohol (MIC) in Austin or Travis County, don’t make the mistake of paying the fine or pleading guilty. A minor in consumption charge may not seem like a serious criminal charge, but an MIC conviction can limit your future opportunities. An MIC on your criminal record can also hurt your chances of getting into graduate school, medical school or law school.

Contact an MIC attorney in Austin,TX at The Law Office of Kevin Bennett to help keep the charge off of your permanent record.