New Jersey closely monitors the activities of all bars, restaurants, and clubs seeking to sell alcoholic beverages to the public. Each of these businesses must obtain a license to sell a specific type of alcohol and comply with all of the rules present in the laws that control intoxicating liquors.
It is not uncommon for business owners to face accusations of liquor law violations. A finding of fault under these regulations could require you to pay a fine, serve a period of suspension, or even lose your liquor license entirely. In addition, many accusations are also violations of the state’s criminal code. Consulting with a New Jersey liquor license violation attorney immediately upon learning of an investigation could help to limit the impact of this case on your business and personal life.
Obtaining and keeping a license to sell any type of alcoholic beverage requires a business owner to properly regulate the flow of those substances as well as their premises as a whole. Many allegations of wrongdoing involve the alleged illegal sale of alcohol. This typically includes a sale to a person under the age of 21 or providing additional service to a customer already exhibiting signs of intoxication. A business’s license may also be in jeopardy due to its overall inability to control the premises. This can involve hiring a minor to serve drinks or allowing gambling to occur.
Most alleged violations will proceed under the authority of New Jersey Revised Statute § 33:1-2. The State issues licenses to produce or distribute alcoholic beverages, and doing so without a license is a violation of the law under this statute. A liquor license violation lawyer could provide New Jersey business owners with more information about the State’s powers and the legal basis for their investigations.
For most restaurant, bar, or club owners, the main concern that comes with an apparent liquor license violation is the impact that this will have on their operations. For example, New Jersey Administrative Code § 13:2-23.1 prohibits a license holder from serving or providing alcohol to any person under the age of 21. Convictions here can come with a wide range of penalties. Even a first conviction allows the Director to suspend or even revoke a business’s license. The exact nature of the penalty depends upon the nature of the violation and the license holder’s previous record.
Hiring a New Jersey liquor license violation lawyer could help to prevent these outcomes. An attorney could work with prosecutors to come to a plea deal that avoids the imposition of these heavy penalties. In other cases, they can prepare defenses against the charge as a whole that aims to avoid any punishment.
Mounting a comprehensive defense is especially important when the alleged violations also amount to criminal acts. Especially as applied to the service of minors, an investigation can turn into a criminal case that alleges violations of public safety. Here, defeating a charge at the hearing stage can help to prevent a situation from becoming a larger problem.
Allegations that involve the illegal sale of alcohol are serious matters. At a minimum, they may require your business to pay a fine. The State also has the ability to suspend or even revoke your liquor license. This will have a devastating effect on your business and your ability to obtain a license in the future.
Let a New Jersey liquor license violation attorney take the lead in fighting these charges. In some cases, a lawyer could work towards a plea deal that minimizes the impact of a violation. In others, they can prepare a thorough defense that aims to defeat the charges in their entirety. Schedule an initial consultation at our office today to learn more.