Michigan Attorney Question For MIP (Minor In Possession) of Alcohol Charge at Michigan State University East Lansing Court. Need Michigan Lawyer for MIP at MSU – What Are Penalties?

Home » General » Michigan Attorney Question For MIP (Minor In Possession) of Alcohol Charge at Michigan State University East Lansing Court. Need Michigan Lawyer for MIP at MSU – What Are Penalties?

I’m 19 years old and I picked up an MIP (Minor in Possession) of alcohol charge at Michigan State University a few nights ago and I have court in East Lansing District Court coming up here pretty quick so I need a criminal defense lawyer for this MIP I think. I know a lot of people up here who got MIPs and they just went to East Lansing court for their MIP without a lawyer paid a fine and had to do some alchohol classes and take breathalyzers and stuff, and some who just got fined and walked away and plead guilty to MIP. I don’t know what to believe but I have never been in trouble before and  I am going to be really nervous standing in front of a judge alone.  I also heard those judges are really tough on these types of MIP cases because its a college town and MSU students have a bad rep for drinking too much and partying all the time.  I feel like I should hire an attorney for this MIP here at Michigan State.

Do I need a lawyer for this MIP charge at Michigan State in the East Lansing District Court, or should I just try to do it on my own? What can happen if I just plea guilty? Does this stay on my record or does it go away when I turn 21? I am confused and just want good advice from someone besides the other students up here who got busted by the police for an MIP at MSU. I need REAL advice. My parents CANNOT find out about this!!!!

Great blog BTW! Glad I found www.AllLegalMatters.com


  1. Peter A. Torrice on October 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm said:

    As a Michigan State University alumni I am very familiar with this type of MIP charge at MSU and the courts up there.

    There are really 2 kinds of MIP charges in Michigan. Those are Minor In Possession (or MIP as its commonly called) of Alcohol by consumption, or by actual possession. These are misdemanor offenses that exist under city/township ordinances and state law. It depends how the charge is issued and authorized by police/prosecutors. A “minor” means someone under the age of 21, not a “minor” in the traditional legal sense.

    It seems like so many cases we deal with involve minors in Michigan being at a back yard party or a house party or a hotel party that is broken up by police (like they usually are), and then these youths are rounded up and ordered to start taking Preliminary Breath Tests, or PBT tests, on a breathalyzer.

    In September 2009, the Michigan Court of Appeals made a ruling that appears to hold Michigan’s MIP law unconstitutional, in part, at least with regard to the MIP by consumtion charges where minors are ordered to take PBT tests without a search warrant. The text of this court opinion, City of Troy v. Chowdhury, is available on the link below:


    Although this opinion was limited to addressing the issue of the City of Troy MIP ordinance, that ordinance is similar or fairly identical in language to other city ordinances throughout the state of Michigan, and the state law for MIP. This opinion is also bolstered by similar Federal court decisions such as Spencer v Bay City, 292 F Supp 2d 932 (ED Mich, 2003); and Platte v Thomas Twp, 504 F Supp 2d 227 (ED Mich, 2007).

    Although the scope of this opinion has been subject to much debate by prosecutors and judges, Canu Torrice Law knows from experience that cases in Shelby Township, Michigan and other courts are being thrown out upon the filing of an appropriate motion based on this ruling. That’s because a judge who rules based on the law, as they are required to do, will toss a case out where a minor is ordered to take a PBT without a search warrant. However, many judges, most notably the 48th Judicial District Court in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and the 52-3 Judicial District Court judges in Rochester Hills, Michigan, have in the past refused to follow the rulings of the federal cases because they believe that these court holdings do not apply at the state district court level (the attorneys at Canu Torrice Law must have missed that lesson in law school where published Federal case law precendent dealing with Michigan law is somehow not binding on lower state courts – but the Bloomfield Hills and Rochester Hills District Courts sometimes seem to create their own law as we well know).

    The court ruling in Chowdery requires judges to suppress (throw out) breath tests taken in MIP cases in Michigan where the minors have not consented to the PBT test and no other search warrant exception exists.

    In your case, you do not describe whether you were given a PBT, whether you consented, or if you were just caught with a fifth of Jack Daniels in your hand running around in the streets of East Lansing. These details could make the difference between possibly having your case dismissed upon the filing of an appropriate motion, or doing some probation.

    Even if there is no real “defense” to your case, there is still a lot the attorneys at Canu Torrice Law can do to help you. It is very unlikely given your age and the fact that you are an MSU student that the East Lansing judges will just let you go with a fine and nothing else if you are convicted. That court commonly orders you to do some probationary period with alcohol testing and an alcohol educational class, but the most important thing is for you to hire a Canu Torrice Law attorney to help keep this off your record. Not only is MIP a misdemeanor offense, and therefore a crime, but a conviction for MIP in Michigan is automatically abstracted to your DRIVING RECORD whether you were driving or not. Don’t ask why, it doesn’t make sense to us either. But this will mean increased insurance at the very least, and potentially a suspended Michigan driver’s license especially if you receive another MIP conviction.

    The Michigan defense attorneys at Canu Torrice Law may be able to have your MIP charges thrown out of court completely, or at least negotiate a plea on your behalf where the MIP will STAY OFF YOUR RECORD! There are a couple different laws in Michigan that we can use to accomplish this goal, and I will discuss those with you if you would like to meet for a free consultation. I doubt that your friends who allegedly just went to court and plead guilty were afforded the opprotunity to have this charge stay off their record, especially without the plea negotiation efforts of an experienced Michigan criminal MIP defense attorney.

    In short, he who represents himself (or herself) has a fool for a client as Abe once said. Don’t make that mistake.

    If you have an MIP charge up at Michigan State in East Lansing or anywhere else in Michigan, contact Canu Torrice Law today at (586) 285-1700 for a free consultation. Our legal team is available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week to take your call. You will NEVER get an answering machine when you call our office. You will talk to a person.

    Peter A. Torrice
    Canu Torrice Law
    (586) 285-1700

  2. I had an MIP at Michigan State didnt use a lawyer and and it was the worst mistake I ever made, it still shows on my driving record today and I wasn’t even driving! if i could go back 4 years id hire an attorney to get this case dismissed for sure well worth it.

  3. Peter A. Torrice on February 21, 2010 at 9:53 pm said:

    Alex :

    I had an MIP at Michigan State didnt use a lawyer and and it was the worst mistake I ever made, it still shows on my driving record today and I wasn’t even driving! if i could go back 4 years id hire an attorney to get this case dismissed for sure well worth it.

    We hear that a lot. If you or your friends ever get an MIP whether its at MSU, U of M, Central Michigan, Wayne State University, Ferris State or anywhere else in Michigan YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY. I could never figure out why anyone smart enough to be in college is dumb enough to ever go to court without an attorney.

    At Canu Torrice Law we handle MIPs, drunk driving / OWI cases, possession of marijuana and other drug cases in every court throughout the State of Michigan, and we are literally in court every day. Do not be a fool and represent yourself on these types of cases. Call Canu Torrice Law today and speak with one of our Michigan MIP lawyers for a free consultation.

    (586) 285-1700
    Canu Torrice Law

  4. MSU MIP on March 22, 2010 at 5:54 pm said:

    I just sent you an email I have an MIP in East Lansing from last night at Michigan State…. Im 20 years old and was watching MSU NCAA tournament when the beat Maryland…..great game outside for what happened after to me I was caught with a beer in my hand by police now have court in 10 days ….I am worried especially because i dont understand why this goes on my drivbing record if i wasnt driving. I have no prior cases at all for anything can you gys for sure keep this MIP off my record? I see one of you went to Michigan State so I am sure you know what goes on up here eberyone drinks I just got caught.

  5. kindy on March 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm said:

    thank u ctzlaw for all the useful info i will tell my brother he just got an mip at central michigan this past weekend

  6. Another MSU MIP on September 26, 2010 at 11:14 pm said:

    I just got an MIP last week after MSU beat Notre Dame in overtime. I swear I know 10 people who got MIPs in East Lansing that weekend. Everyone was partying and I was drinking too I admite, but I wasn’t even drunk – I just had 2 beers but I was caught with a beer in my hands, I threw it to the ground, the police asked me to take a PBT and I was arrested. My parents do NOT know yet but I had to call to set up an arraignment court date and now I have to go to court and I am freaked out! I am on scholarship and do not want to lose my scholarship or get kicked out of school, can they do that? I know I need an attorney and I am not stupid enough to just go to court alone and plea to anything without legal advice. I do not have money but I work part time and can make payments to you guys if necessary, if you will do that, otherwise I have to tell my parents and ask them for money and they will lose their minds!

    Thanks for your help!

  7. MIP - GET AN ATTORNEY! on October 4, 2010 at 9:50 pm said:

    Dude for real it must be the economy or something because East Lansing must need cash I had 10 friends busted for MIP charges in the last 2 weeks here at Michigan State and they all have court dates. I had an MIP at 17 when I was in high school in Sterling Heights Michigan court and I had an attorney. Some of my friends up here havent even told their parents yet and are trying to handle their MIP tickets on thier own at MSU here and I told them they are stupid. Your gonna pay all this money for a education, or your parent’s money at least, and then you are gonna screw up your chances at a job having an alcohol misdemanor conviction on your record? Not to mention having your driver’s license all jacked up and not be able to get insurance? STUUUUPID!!!! Everyone thinks MSU is a party school as it is so why would you take the chance to have someone at a job interview think you just partied your way though college when they see an MIP or any other criminal offense on your record?

    Hey guys, listen to common sense and these lawyers, get a lawyer for your MIP, and dont hire some hack attorney either get a good lawyer! Just my opinion.

  8. Hire a Lawyer on January 25, 2011 at 10:43 pm said:

    I agree hire a good lawyer glad you guys see things like me. My buddy used campus attorneys for his MIP at State and got shafted with all types of probation and testing and his MIp in East Lansing ans that charge still went on his record when he was at MSU and he cant get it off now. I would spend the few bucks to hire a good attorney if it were me jst my opinion but damn you going to spend all that cash on school and be cheap with a lawyer? Doesnt make sense.

  9. SpartyDB1 on March 20, 2012 at 11:32 am said:

    I am a freshman at Michigan State and just got busted for a MIP and open intox in East Lansing on St Patricks Day. My buddies and I were just hanging out in my car behind our apartment and the Michigan State cops came by harassing us. Next thing I know we was each getting a MIP and I got a open intox one too. I cant let my parents know i got a MIP and open intox they will kill me. I already got introuble with a MIP at a party a few months ago and i am worried my parents will make me leave Michigan State.

    I got screwed over on that first MIP and dont want to mess around with this one since it is a MIP and open intox. I hope you guys can help me!

  10. TommyCU on September 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm said:

    I am an out of state student from Colorado and I just got an MIP when i was visiting my buddy at Michigan State. I dont want to keep going back and forth to Michigan for court dates because I go to school in Boulder, Colorado and I cant miss classes and I dont have a ton of money for plane tix. Also I dont want a misdemeanor on my record and was hoping someone in your law office could help me out based on these past posts.

    I have clean record other than some traffic tickets and I was hoping to keep this MIP from my parents because they would be pretty upset. I would appreciate any help with this MIP.

  11. Canu Torrice Law on September 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm said:

    There seems to have been an awful lot of MIPs handed out at Michigan State over the first two weeks of classes and here at Canu Torrice Law I have handled numerous MIP cases over the past few years involving Michigan State students and other college students who were visiting East Lansing. You already made the smart decision to pursue an MIP attorney rather than trying to settle this MIP on your own

    The good news is that I have been extremely successful in waiving arraignments on MIP cases and I can combine your arraignment, pretrial, pleading and your sentencing into one court date and save college students, like yourself, $1,000s in travel costs. Also, by hiring a Canu Torrice Law criminal defense attorney you will have a lawyer with a vast experience in handling MIP cases in East Lansing. We can keep the MIP off of your record and you can head back to college rather than come back and forth to Michigan two or three times for your MIP case.

    Since you want to get this MIP handled as quickly as possible I strongly advise you to call Canu Torrice Law today. To get a hold of one of our Michigan MIP lawyers call (586) 285-1700.

    Canu Torrice Law
    (586) 285-1700

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