Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws
California requires every business owner to obtain a license to sell alcoholic beverages. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has exclusive authority to grant business owners a license for the sale of alcoholic beverage. So, whether you are a liquor store owner, bar owner, or ballpark owner, you must obtain a liquor license before you can sell alcohol to customers for consumption on the premises, off the premises, or both. Once a business owner acquires a license, the business owner/licensee is under a legal obligation to follow ABC laws. For example, ABC licensees must keep a “Clerk’s Affidavit” signed by each employee or clerk who sells alcoholic beverages at the store or restaurant and make the affidavit available for inspection by the ABC Department. Licensees are also prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21. As part of its enforcement power, the ABC Department regularly deploys “decoys,” or minors who are working with law enforcement, to purchase alcohol at stores and restaurants. ABC may also place conditions on an ABC liquor license that, unless removed, could negatively impact their alcoholic beverage sales. A business litigation lawyer located in Orange County who is experienced in alcohol and liquor law cases can assist licensees with ABC compliance issues.
ABC licensees in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, among others, are often cited for violating ABC laws or license conditions. When the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control determines that a licensee has violated an ABC law or a condition on the liquor license, it may file an “Accusation” against the licensee. The Accusation does not mean the licensee is guilty. The licensee has the right to a hearing before an administrative law judge to fight the accusation; Orange County ABC license defense attorney Yashdeep “Jesse” Singh has defended licensees for ABC violations at administrative hearings. The licensee must act promptly after it receives an Accusation. If the licensee is found to have committed one or more of the violations alleged, the penalties can range from a fine to a complete revocation of the liquor license. There are numerous aggravating or mitigating factors that could change the severity of the penalty.
Our law office, located conveniently in Brea, California, has assisted many business owners in administrative proceedings involving charges brought by the ABC Department. Contact our business law attorney today if you have received a notice of an accusation filed against your ABC license.Brea, California Litigation Attorney Provides Counsel to Companies and Residents Charged With Sale to Minor in Criminal Court
In addition to administrative proceedings initiated by the ABC Department, a criminal case may be filed by the local District Attorney’s office in California Superior Court. Both the employee and licensee could be subject to criminal charges for an alleged sale to minor, particularly where the minor is a decoy. The criminal penalties for these violations could include fines, community service, and imprisonment.
Orange County ABC license defense lawyer Yashdeep “Jesse” Singh has successfully represented both employees and business owners who have been criminally charged with selling, furnishing, or giving an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 years of age or permitting a person under 21 to consume an alcoholic beverage at a bar or restaurant, in violation of California Business and Professions Code section 25658. In certain cases, Cerritos license defense law firm Yash Law Group was able to obtain a complete dismissal for the licensee and employee. Contact us today for a free consultation if you were cited for a sale of alcohol or tobacco to a minor.