Students at CU Boulder are subject to the Code of Student Conduct as well as to the laws of the City of Boulder and the State of Colorado. A student can be ordered to meet with the Office of Student Conduct if there is an allegation that he or she violated one or more of the rules in the Code of Student Conduct. Sometimes this is associated with violating the law (and thus a situation where the student will probably be hiring a lawyer anyway) and sometimes it is not associated with formal criminal charges.
It is strongly advisable for the student called before the Office of Student Conduct to have legal representation– or at a minimum to talk to a lawyer in preparation for that meeting. Because the penalty for violating student conduct codes can be anything from probation to suspension to expulsion from the university, it is imperative that the student have a skilled lawyer advocating on their behalf to avoid loss of the ability to attend CU Boulder, loss of tuition money already paid, a delayed graduation date, etc.
The lawyers at Miller & Harrison, LLC are experienced in handling these matters and would be happy to discuss them with you. Don’t go it alone.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol
Often referred to as an "MIP" or Minor in Possession, anyone in Colorado who is under 21 years of age may not possess or consume ethyl alcohol, except in extremely limited circumstances (normally involving religious ceremonies and parents’ permission). Many new arrivals to Boulder to attend the University find themselves in trouble merely for walking home after drinking alcohol, and being contacted by a police officer that smells alcohol or believes they see signs indicating alcohol consumption.
A police officer does not need to give a breath or blood test to charge a minor with MIP. If they feel they can testify to sufficient common indications of alcohol consumption, they can issue a ticket. Of course, possessing an alcohol container (beer bottle, red cup commonly associated with beer from keg, etc.) can provide the proof an officer needs to issue the ticket.
Once issued a ticket, a court appearance is required and, if a minor pleads guilty or is found guilty, an alcohol education program is normally required as is community service work and payment of fines and court costs. A conviction of MIP can lead to driver’s license problems (even if no car was involved), and may cause problems at the University as well.
MIP is taken seriously in Boulder and if a person is charged with such an offense it makes sense to at least discuss it with a lawyer to be sure the outcome is as favorable as possible.
Please note even if a conviction of MIP occurs, after a certain time period if there are no further offenses, it may be possible to remove the MIP conviction from your record. However, handling the case correctly up front makes the removal of the record much more likely.