A minor in possession of alcohol may face misdemeanor charges in Los Angeles Superior Court when cited by a police officer. If the minor is under the age of 18, the case will most likely be heard at one of the juvenile courts in Los Angeles: Eastlake Courthouse, Sylmar, Pasadena, Norwalk, Los Padrinos, or Eastlake Juvenile Court. If the minor is over the age of 21, the case will be filed in adult court.
When the minor is charged with violating Business and Professions Code 25662, the People must prove the following:
- The minor was unlawfully possessed an alcoholic beverage in or on a street, highway, public place, or a place open to the public; and
- At the time, the minor was under 21 years old.
An alcoholic beverage is a liquid or solid material intended to be consumed that contains one-half of 1 percent or more of alcohol by volume. Under the law, a person becomes one year older as soon as the first minute of his or her birthday has begun. Two or more persons may possess something at the same time, including an alcoholic beverage can be possessed by more than one person. The minor does not have to actually hold or touch the alcoholic beverage to possess it. It is enough if the minor has control over it or the right to control it, either personally or through another person.
- The minor did not possess the alcohol;
- The minor did was not in or on a street, highway, public place, or a place open to the public when the alcoholic beverage was confiscated; or
- A minor is not in violation of this section if the minor was making a delivery of an alcoholic beverage in pursuance of the order of his or her parent, responsible adult relative, or any other adult designated by the parent or legal guardian, or in pursuance of his or her employment. The minor has a complete defense if he or she was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative, or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage.
The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not following such instructions.
Entry of a Police Officer in a House with Minors and Alcohol
Police officers routinely break-up house parties where alcohol may be in possession of minors. A police officer may lawfully enter a premise and seize any alcoholic beverage in plain view at a social gathering with persons under 21 years of age where 10 or more persons under 21 years of age are participating and there is no adult supervision. See Business and Professions Code 25662(b)
Punishable by a misdemeanor by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours or more than 32 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed or is not attending school. A second or subsequent violation shall be punishable as a misdemeanor and the person shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or required to perform not less than 36 hours or more than 48 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed or is not attending school, or a combination of fine and community service as the court deems just.
If your son or daughter has recently been cited for violation of Business and Professions Code 25662 (BP25662) and has a court date in Los Angeles Superior Court or Los Angeles Juvenile Court, call Attorney Arthur Khachatourians for a defense consultation at 818-590-8294.
The Khachatourians Law group represents individuals arrested for alcohol related incidents’ arising in Los Angeles County and it various courthouses located in Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, Torrance, Inglewood, San Fernando, Van Nuys, and downtown Los Angeles. If you have been cited for drunk in public (PC647), selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor (B&P Code 25658), or have a minor in possession of alcohol (B&P Code 25662), call the defense team at KLG for a defense evaluation. If you have already pled guilty or no contest to the charges, please contact us to inquire about post-conviction relief which may include expunging your criminal conviction (Penal Code 1203.4) or sealing your juvenile record.