Is MIP really a civil infraction in Michigan? What you need to know

The law on Minor in Possession of Alcohol, also known as MIP, in Michigan was recently changed and goes into effect on January 1, 2018.  Prior to the change all MIPs were considered misdemeanors.  Depending on where the case was heard the sentences varied.  If you were in a college town like Ann Arbor or East Lansing, the sentence would typically include taking a class, paying a fine, and a short probation.  In places like Oakland County an MIP first offense could lead to a strict probation that required daily alcohol testing, community service, large fines, and more.  I believe one of the reasons for the law change in Michigan is due to those inconsistencies.

How does the new Civil Infraction MIP law work in Michigan?

Under the new law, only a first offense for MIP is a civil infraction.  This means that if you had a prior MIP in Michigan, your case would be charged as a misdemeanor.  A second offense carries a 30 day maximum jail sentence.  A third offense carries a 60 day maximum jail sentence. All three situations allow the court to get order substance abuse treatment, evaluations, or classes.

What is a Civil Infraction in Michigan?

A civil infraction is not a crime in Michigan.  An example of a civil infraction is a parking ticket.  There is no jail time associated with a civil infraction.  You can’t plead guilty to a civil infraction.  A civil infraction in Michigan is usually resolved with money through a fine.  Instead of a guilty plea, you would be admitting resposibility to the civil infraction.  So there would be no criminal conviction as a result of admitting responsibility.

Here is a link for the MIP law in Michigan: click here.

If you’ve been charged with an MIP in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Milan, Jackson, Howell, Fowlerville, Brighton, Northville, Plymouth, Belleville, Westland, or in the surrounding Washtenaw, Wayne, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston counties, call me for a free consultation and an honest, but aggressive MIP defense.