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      07-01-2020, 03:44 PM   #1
BMWGUYinCO
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Need some (very light) legal advice please

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone could provide some advice here for a situation with my son.

He turned 21 on 5/13 of this year. He's been renting his own condo since November of 2019. He has been driving since 16 years old, and his driving record is spotless - never even received a ticket, and has no other record of any kind.

He began working at a Waterway Car wash at 16, and because he was responsible, hardworking, and had leadership potential he was promoted very quickly to become the youngest senior manager (level 5) in the entire company; he was responsible for other managers twice his age, and mentored a lot of teenagers through their job responsibilities. He has an excellent credit record, etc. etc. etc.

So on May 1st, about 12 days before his 21st BDay, the police were called to his condo for a noise disturbance (loud music). When the officers arrived, there were 4 people there including my son. All of them had been drinking beer.

The officer ID'd everyone, and discovered that my son was a minor. He then asked whose residence it was, and my son replied that it was in his name. The officer then wrote him a ticket for drinking as a minor. My son said it was less than two weeks to his 21st Bday to which the officer replied "Oooh - so close". No other citation was issued to anyone, and no noise violation either.

My son was very respectful throughout the entire encounter and admitted fault.

So here is my question - he now has a court date set in Boulder County, Colorado. If prosecuted to the fullest extent, this could result in a misdemeanor on his record, which we want to avoid. I was thinking to accompany him to court, and try to speak to my son's personal and professional character, his mentorship of others, etc. and hope to seek a much lesser charger or community service and/or fine. So I'm wondering if this would be a good strategy, or should we hire an attorney (current estimate is $1,400 for this service).

Any advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance...
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      07-01-2020, 03:56 PM   #2
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My advice would be to see a real attorney in your state, not ask a bunch of legal luddites in a BMW forum. Typically an attorney will hear your situation out for free before determining if they will be able to help you or recommend another attorney who specializes in your problem.
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      07-01-2020, 04:13 PM   #3
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Hire an attorney, the stakes are too high to be guessing at what to do. Split the $1400 cost with your son as a life lesson.
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      07-01-2020, 04:15 PM   #4
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Cannot comment in your state. In ohio when i was 18 i got an underage consumption charge which was a ticket and court appearance. Ended up costing me about $240 total not a big deal
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      07-01-2020, 04:15 PM   #5
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Realistically, the court normally knocks these tickets down to a bullshit pay a fee and you're off. If you want more peace of mind, pay an attorney.

What's it really worth? Pay a little fine and keep it moving. Sucks that this bullshit happens to good, normal people. Especially because it was just beer and you can drink beer in Europe at 16. Fucking joke.
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      07-01-2020, 04:16 PM   #6
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Hire an attorney. It will get dropped likely. Honestly, for something akin to a moving violation you could just go to the first appearance in court and it will likely get tossed. If it doesn't, then hire a lawyer.
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      07-01-2020, 04:17 PM   #7
BMWGUYinCO
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Thank you for the responses so far.

I was thinking with Covid impacting courtroom attendance, that plea deals were a preferred option at this time but that may be wishful thinking.

Again, looking for all input and perspectives, thanks!
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      07-01-2020, 05:22 PM   #8
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What was he cited for? Do you have the violation code?
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      07-01-2020, 05:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterF80M3 View Post
What was he cited for? Do you have the violation code?
Specifically - Minor in Possession (Alcohol).
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      07-01-2020, 05:41 PM   #10
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Hire an attorney

Having the possibility of an adverse event on your son's record is not an option - hire a good attorney. Your son is too young to get something on his record that he'll have to explain for the rest of his life.
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      07-01-2020, 05:48 PM   #11
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[Update]

When we began to search this whole thing, our search results turned up Law Firm websites and they certainly are effective at painting a worst case scenario. But then I found the Boulder County Court website and this is what I found:

What to Expect in Court
What is the likely outcome of my case?
The outcome of your MIP case will depend on whether you have had a previous criminal violation. If you are a University of Colorado (CU) student, you will have additional consequences imposed by the Office of Student Conduct or Residence Life.

Marijuana-related cases that result in a conviction may affect your eligibility for Federal Student Financial Aid. To find out more, consult an attorney and/or read the following links: Penalties For Drug Law Violations and Student Aid Eligibility.

First MIP
If you have no prior criminal history, then you will likely be offered a form of diversion called a Deferred Prosecution.

You are not required to plead guilty.

You are required to pay for and attend a court ordered Substance Use Class.

You must pay $100 court fee due on the day of court.

Once you complete the court ordered program, your case will be dismissed and your MIP record will automatically be sealed.

Please note that if you have an additional charge(s) in your case, they are NOT eligible for automatic sealing. You must petition the court and pay a $65 sealing fee to seal that charge(s).


Still weighing my options, but this is making it sound more it may not be necessary to hire someone.

I would imagine that with Colorado University nearby, Boulder must generate hundreds of MIPs/week.

Last edited by BMWGUYinCO; 07-01-2020 at 05:53 PM..
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      07-01-2020, 08:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWGUYinCO View Post
Specifically - Minor in Possession (Alcohol).
Was he caught drinking beer or he just assumed he was drinking or he admitted he was drinking?
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      07-01-2020, 08:29 PM   #13
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get an attorney; youll easily plea it to some noise violation or such. god knows the expungement laws as thats really the issue here.
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      07-01-2020, 08:34 PM   #14
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Hire an attorney. Plea bargain or seek to have the charges dismissed. Use a lawyer.

All of the words typed in this thread, including mine, are worth what you paid for them.
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      07-02-2020, 08:15 AM   #15
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My free $0.02 of advice is to check your state's motor vehicle laws. I'm pretty sure that there are a few states out there that will suspend a drivers license for underage drinking...even if the offense was not in a vehicle. Apparently the logic is that teens see losing their licenses as a bigger threat to their freedom than jail time, so it is a bigger deterrent if the state grounds them.....
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      07-02-2020, 11:15 AM   #16
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What I have seen here in CO mirrors what you found on the Boulder County website. If there are no priors or outstanding judgements, they generally want to work to make it easy and a good lesson, not a lifelong mark.

Sounds like your son has a good head on his shoulders, but dressing and acting respectfully always goes a long way in court to get the outcome that you desire.


When I was that age, I had quite the lead foot and an inability to learn my lessons... Over the course of a few years, got my license suspended, back, suspended again, and eventually revoked as a habitual traffic offender. Co law mandates a minimum 5 day sentence for a driving under suspension or revocation plea, and by acting respectfully I never served a day in jail, did it all on in home detention.

And yes, I eventually wised up and stopped driving and waited it out.
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      07-02-2020, 11:20 AM   #17
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You have one shot, get an attorney. Period.
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      07-02-2020, 11:38 AM   #18
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Get a lawyer, try to get it tossed. There are a lot of ways that even a 'sealed record' can get in the way of certain career paths. $1400 will seem cheap at that point. And FWIW, every axe-murdering crack dealer has family who will swear that they are just the nicest and most upstanding citizen; you being there for him in court wont prove anything, and can sometimes work against him - they like to see kids take personal responsibility. Friend of mine recently had their son get into trouble, and made him deal w/ it on his own (they had told him that if he kept doing stupid shit, he was on his own). Judge actually gave him a shockingly light consequence, and specifically noted that he was impressed that the kid was there on his own, not just with his parents prodding him. The kiss of death is acting at all like this is no big deal in front of the judge; I'd forget about that 'it was only two weeks away' line.
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      07-02-2020, 11:54 AM   #19
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I really appreciate all the advice/feedback from everyone.
Sounds like we should retain an attorney.
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      07-02-2020, 12:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWGUYinCO View Post
I really appreciate all the advice/feedback from everyone.
Sounds like we should retain an attorney.
At the very least, try to get a good local criminal attorney on the line. He should let you know the real deal and what you're likely to face in that jurisdiction. If he seemed shady get another opinion.
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      07-02-2020, 12:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterF80M3 View Post
Was he caught drinking beer or he just assumed he was drinking or he admitted he was drinking?
I think I know what you are asking here, and to that extent I researched the "Minor in Possession" law in Colorado.

It states (and I'm paraphrasing): if you are caught holding, or are in possession by any other means of any alcohol as a minor, even if you were just holding it for a friend, you are guilty of an infraction of the law.

The officer asked my son "Have you been drinking" to which he replied honestly - "Yes I have" but that wouldn't have mattered since he was physically holding a beer in his hand.
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      07-02-2020, 01:14 PM   #22
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Dude, as an attorney, just get off this site and hire an attorney ASAP. This is a car blog and probably 50% of the car info here isn’t accurate. I’d estimate 99% of legal advice here is worth exactly what you paid. It can (maybe) screw up future employment and other opportunities. Happy Fourth!
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Last edited by VeloF1; 07-02-2020 at 04:18 PM..
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