In Arkansas, possession is a tricky topic, but for more information check out this blog. Arkansas’s minor in possession statute is unique from the general rule. We are here to help you better understand the nitty-gritty of possession and the consequences.
Minor in Possession
Typically, to “possess” something in Arkansas means to “exercise actual dominion, control, or management over a tangible object” according to A.C.A. § 5-1-102. In other words, to possess alcohol, you must typically have actual control over the tangible alcohol itself. A.C.A. § 3-3-203 states that “For the purposes of this section, intoxicating liquor, wine, or beer in the body of a person under twenty-one (21) years of age is deemed to be in his or her possession.”
A minor in possession is if you are under the age of 21 and have alcohol present in your body. If a police officer determines there is probable cause to believe that a person under 21 has alcohol present in their body, that person can be arrested for minor in possession pursuant to A.C.A § 3-3-203.
A surprising consequence of having charges for minor in possession is losing your driver’s license. Even if you weren’t driving under the influence when you have an arrest for minor in possession. Statute A.C.A. § 3-3-203 requires a suspension of your license due to the minor in possession charges. A 60-day suspension of your driver’s license for your first-time offense and 120 days for a second offense. This suspension will occur after a hearing with the office of driver control. After charges of possession occur, you will receive a 30-day driving permit in replace of your driver’s license.
You can be immune to prosecution for a minor in possession charge even if you violated the statute when you:
- Request emergency medical assistance in response to a medical emergency of another person;
- Remained on the scene until the emergency medical assistance arrived, and cooperated with emergency medical assistance providers and law enforcement personnel during the medical emergency.
- If you received emergency medical assistance and as a result of receiving this medical attention encountered law enforcement.
- If you are under 21 and have consumed alcohol, you will not have prosecution under A.C.A. § 3-3-203 for calling for medical help in an emergency if you stayed and cooperated with medical and legal authorities.
If you have problems with Possession charges, call George B. Morton with Morton Law at 479-587-9988. Arkansas’s best Criminal Law Experts in the Fayetteville, Springdale, and Washington County areas.