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Common Arizona Alcohol Charges

Adults over age 21 in Arizona are free to enjoy alcohol responsibly. They key words in that last sentence are “over age 21” and “responsibly.” At Matthew Lopez Law, PLLC, our attorneys work hard to defend you from alcohol-based charges. Here are some of the most common alcohol charges that our criminal defense legal team handles:

Furnishing Alcohol To A Minor

Providing alcohol to a minor (under 21) is illegal and offenders could be facing a misdemeanor. Because it is a criminal charge and could affect your personal life, it is important to hire a qualified attorney to defend you. (ARS §4-244)

Minor In Consumption Of Alcohol (MIC)

Commonly referred to as an MIC, this misdemeanor criminal charge carries potentially serious consequences. It can affect educational opportunities and careers. A person in violation of the statute can be ordered to pay a fine and/or spend up to four months in jail. (ARS §4-244)

Minor In Possession Of Alcohol (MIP)

Commonly referred to as an MIP, a person in violation of the statute can face up to 30 days in jail, ordered to pay a fine and serve a term of probation. (ARS §4-241)

Open Container Of Alcohol

Consuming or possessing an open container of alcohol while operating a vehicle is illegal in Arizona. A person in violation could be facing a Class 2 misdemeanor. (ARS §4-251)

Public Consumption Of Alcohol

In some states, it is legal to consume alcohol in public. However, in Arizona, it is illegal. You can be cited for public consumption. (ARS §4-244)

Frequently Asked Questions About Alcohol-Related Charges

If you are facing alcohol-related charges, you likely have a lot of questions. Here at Matthew Lopez Law, PLLC, we are happy to provide answers, insights and guidance. Here are the questions our attorneys see most often:

What are the long-term impacts of an alcohol-related conviction on my record?

An alcohol-related conviction can bring many ramifications, such as time behind bars, fines and the loss of a driver’s license. But there can also be long-term consequences, including the fact that subsequent alcohol-related charges may bring stiffer penalties. On top of that, a conviction could make it harder to rent or get a job. Employers are allowed to conduct background checks and can discriminate against those with a permanent record.

Can an alcohol-related charge be expunged or set aside in Arizona?

Yes. Some convictions used to be permanent for alcohol-related offenses, such as DUI convictions. In 2023, the law was changed so that these can be set aside, sealed or expunged. Remember that this doesn’t mean the record is erased. The authorities can still see it, but it wouldn’t show up on a background check from a prospective employer.

What are the implications for non-US citizens facing alcohol-related charges?

Most people will not face deportation or other immigration issues for minor charges, such as a first-offense DUI. But you could face deportation for crimes of moral turpitude (an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community), which means that aggravating factors are important. One example is if an impaired driver was involved in an accident that took someone else’s life or if there was a minor in the car with them at the time.

Are there any alternative sentencing options available, such as diversion programs or community service?

Other states do have diversion programs, especially for first-time offenders, but Arizona does not have such a program in place. That doesn’t mean you’re without options, and an experienced lawyer can help you explore them. For instance, there are some cases when you may be able to take a plea bargain for a lesser charge.

Call Us Immediately For Legal Advice

Matthew Lopez Law is here for clients 24/7. Call us at 602-960-1731 or use our email contact form to be connected to a knowledgeable defense attorney for a free consultation.