Charged for minor in possession for beer in my backpack when I was not even at the party.

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Charged for minor in possession for beer in my backpack when I was not even at the party.

My backpack was at party and had beers in it. However I was not present when the cops came. They took my backpack as evidence and now I am being charged for minor in possession when I was never actually possessing the alcohol. Is there a case against me?

Asked on May 8, 2009 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes, there is a case against you. Whatever you have in your backpack can be considered as in your possession, even if you didn't put it there and even if you weren't present.

That doesn't mean that you have to be found guilty.  You would be able to testify, at your trial, to the fact that you never had the beer, never had the backpack with the beer in it, and didn't know about the beer until after the police took it. If the court believes you -- if -- then you could be found not guilty. Whether the court believes you might well depend on your explanation of how your backpack got to the party without you!  What would also help you would be for the person who actually put the beer in your backpack to come clean and take the blame, and explain how it happened.

Underage possession of alcohol is a serious offense, and it could cost you your driver's license.  You should get a lawyer -- and not the same one who is defending anyone who is at the party.  You can look for counsel here:  http://attorneypages.com


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