Houston Alcohol Offenses Lawyer

Harris County and Galveston Alcohol Violations

A citation for minor in possession or any alcohol offense should not be treated lightly. In addition to driver’s license suspension, the misdemeanor conviction can affect the young person’s eligibility for sports, scholarships or college enrollment, as well as future employment opportunities.

The criminal defense attorneys at Tad Nelson & Associates provide knowledgeable and vigorous representation to underage youths caught with alcohol or adults accused of providing alcohol to minors. Based in League City, Texas, we practice in municipal and juvenile courts of Galveston County, Harris County, Houston and surrounding jurisdictions.

If your son or daughter is charged with an alcohol offense, contact us at (281) 280-0100 to discuss your child’s rights and how we can limit the consequences.

Minor in Possession and Other Underage Alcohol Offenses

Under Texas law, the following offenses are class C misdemeanors:

  • Minor in possession of alcohol (MIP)
  • Consumption of alcohol by a minor
  • Open container
  • Purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol by a minor
  • Misrepresentation of age to buy alcohol (i.e., fake ID)
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) — operating a car after drinking any alcohol

On a first offense, the punishment may include license suspension for 30 days and community service. On a second conviction for any combination of the above offenses, license suspension is 60 days. A third offense before age 21 can result in jail time, fines up to $2,000 and license suspension of 180 days.

Your child may qualify for deferred adjudication to keep the offense off their record and avoid the penalties. However, any deferment still counts as a conviction and third offenses are not eligible for deferred adjudication.

Our lawyers are also skilled at defending against the charges. Particularly in Galveston County, we are commonly able to get alcohol offenses dismissed entirely. In other jurisdictions, we can usually get charges reduced if not dismissed. If necessary, we are prepared to go to trial on a third or fourth offense to avoid the major consequences.

Selling or Providing Alcohol to Minors

We also represent owners of bars, liquor stores or restaurants, party hosts and other adults accused of alcohol offenses. Knowingly or negligently selling to a minor is a class A misdemeanor, and furnishing alcohol to a minor is a class B misdemeanor. A common scenario is a young adult over 21 who provided alcohol to friends who were not of legal age. While a conviction may carry jail time, we can often get these charges dismissed or reduced.

Our Houston alcohol offenses attorney is knowledgeable about the law and the tendencies of local prosecutors and judges in the Galveston and Houston area. Contact us today to discuss any alcohol-related charges.