If I’m 19 and a cop gave me a ticket for “drinking in public” and checked the “infraction” box next to it, will this be on my record?

Can I not fight it since I’m not 21?

Asked on November 14, 2015 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Under Ca law, it is unlawful for persons under 21 years old to possess alcohol in public. Minor in Possession (MIP) can be charged as an infraction or as a criminal misdemeanor offense.A conviction for an MIP (either as an infraction or a misdemeanor), will automatically result in the loss of your driver’s license for 1 year; it is required even if the conduct regarding the possession of alcohol did not involve a vehicle.
An infraction is not considered a criminal charge and the only punishment is financial. The reason an infraction is not considered a criminal matter is because it doesn't appear on Department Of Justice criminal records. However, infractions do appear on driving records, court records, local police agency records.
Bottom line, you should consult with a local attorney as to this matter since some records are effected by a drinking in public infraction. 


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