Criminal Defense in Whatcom County
Criminal Defense Bellingham Whatcom County WA
Criminal Defense Whatcom County Washington | Law Firm of David N Jolly

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Minor in Possession and Washington Law


RCW 66.44.270 states that "It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one years to possess, consume, or otherwise acquire any liquor. A violation of this subsection is a gross misdemeanor (punishable by up to 364 days in jail)."


Further, "[i] It is unlawful for a person under the age of twenty-one years to be in a public place, or to be in a motor vehicle in a public place, while exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor. For purposes of this subsection, exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor means that a person has the odor of liquor on his or her breath and either: (i) Is in possession of or close proximity to a container that has or recently had liquor in it; or (ii) by speech, manner, appearance, behavior, lack of coordination, or otherwise, exhibits that he or she is under the influence of liquor. 

Whatcom County Minor in Possession (MIP)

 MIP and Loss of License

Whatcom County MIP and the Department of Licensing


The Department of Licensing takes Minor in Possession charges very seriously.  If you are 17 years of age or under and possess a driver's license, you will lose your license if convicted of MIP.  Further, if you enter into a diversion program in Whatcom County and are not actually convicted of the crime, you will still lose your license if you are 16 or 17 years of age.  If a conviction or diversion agreement (also called a "stipulated order of continuance") occurs, the Washington Department of Licensing will revoke your driver's license and a mail you a letter explaining the revocation and list a series of options that you have for reinstating your license early.  However, if you get to this point you have gone to far.  This is why you need a Whatcom County criminal defense lawyer to properly defend the charge before any license suspension occurs.


The consequences of a revoked driver's license are many and include that fact that you cannot drive while your license is suspended you cannot apply for a driver license or instruction permit while your license is revoked, and if this occurs you must surrender your driver's license to a driver licensing office immediately.


Because of the serious consequences of a minor in Possession charge, including but most certainly not limited to the loss of license, it is imperative you contact a Whatcom County MIP criminal defense attorney to discuss your options before you appear in court.


Minor in Possession in Whatcom County


Being charged with Minor in Possession of alcohol is not an uncommon criminal charge in Whatcom County.  The proximity to both Western Washington University and Whatcom Community College results in a relatively high number of MIP charges in both Bellingham Municipal Court and Whatcom County District Court.  The charge of MIP may, at first glance, not seem to be particularly serious but this would be taking a short sighted view of your future.  Any criminal charge, particularly one connected with alcohol or drugs, may negatively impact your future and even future employment.  Further, a conviction of MIP may even impact your ability to obtain student loans or travel to foreign countries.  Finally, if you are 17 years of age or under, you will lose your driving privilege if convicted of MIP. Therefore, take the charge seriously and do everything you can to get the charge dismissed.

I called many Bellingham lawyers but decided that David Jolly was the best choice. He was very kind and compassionate but honest, which I liked. I was also impressed by his knowledge and the fact that he has written so many books. It was a difficult time but he got my DUI reduced and saved my license. 

- Kevin, Bellingham, WA

MIP in Bellingham

Law Firm of David N. Jolly

218 W. ChampionStreet

Bellingham, WA, United States 98225

(360) 293-2275

Bellingham MIP
  • Talk to a Whatcom County criminal defense attorney immediately, including the possibility of dismissal
  • Do not believe that an MIP will have no impact on your life in the future
  • Protect your future by fighting the MIP charge and avoiding Jail
  • Complete, with the advise of a Whatcom County MIP lawyer, the alcohol drug evaluation and ADIS


Avoiding active (supervised) probation in Whatcom County is always a goal and always a challenge. Avoiding active probation may occur if you complete the alcohol evaluation and ADIS class early.

Bellingham Municipal Court has a program for first time offenders that may dismiss your MIP, assuming you do everything required to qualify.

Court MIP and Dismissal

Minor in Possession Whatcom County

An alcohol evaluation is required with any MIP charge so be sure the best treatment center is chosen.

An appearance in Bellingham Municipal or Whatcom County District Court will be mandatory.

Bellingham Criminal Defense Lawyer David N Jolly
Minor in Possession or Consumption of Alcohol Whatcom County
MIP Driver License Suspension

Whatcom Probation

MIP Alcohol Evaluation Bellingham

If you are 17 years of age or younger and are convicted of minor in possession you will lose your license

Whatcom County Criminal Courts
Whatcom Criminal Defense Bellingham Wa

by David N. Jolly

Whatcom County DUI Defense Lawyer

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 Important MIP Info.

An alcohol evaluation through a certified and trusted treatment center is required. Do it early with advice from your lawyer.

We are a team of experienced criminal defense lawyers and staff with more than 30 years of criminal court room experience.  David Jolly is a local Bellingham attorney who has also authored 14 DUI and Traffic Law books.  We offer reasonable fees and generous payment plans.

Our MIP Lawyers

  Bellingham MIP Tips

A conviction of MIP in Whatcom County will cause your driver's license to be revoked if you are age 17 years or younger. Call us to protect your license.