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Selling or Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor (BP 25658(A)) in Aliso Viejo

In the city of Aliso Viejo, as in the state of California, it is illegal for a person or business to sell or furnish alcohol to a person under the age of 21. Doing so is in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 25658(a). Strict penalties for the sale of alcohol to a minor is meant to discourage illegal sales to minors and encourage businesses to take extra caution when selling alcohol to individuals who appear to be under or close to the age required to purchase and/or consume alcohol. There are a plethora of different offenses or activities that could be considered as going against this law that don’t just consist of selling alcohol to a minor, such as allowing someone underage into a home where the alcohol is not prohibited and not closing off their access to it.

A common instance where selling alcohol to minors is widely recognizable is when the use of fake ID’s is involved. Minors or underage drivers will often try to beat the system and its regulations against drinking while being younger than 21 by showing a fake ID in order to obtain alcohol. However, depending on the look of the fake ID and the steps that were taken, the charges may vary.

An example where the person serving the alcohol would undoubtable be convicted is any instance where an employee who works at a restaurant or at a bar knowingly services an alcoholic beverage to someone underage or someone that you did not know was 21.

Circumstances Where an Accused Could Be Declared Innocent of This Charge
  1. If the accused or the accused’s employer or agent asked the minor for a government issued I.D. as evidence of the minors age and identity and
  2. If the minor furnished the I.D showing that they are above 21 years of age and
  3. If the accused person relied on the presented document and reasonably believed that the person was at least 21 years of age before selling or furnishing them with alcohol then the accused could be declared innocent of the charge.

In order for the prosecution to prove their case against a person accused of selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor, they need to prove:

  • That the defendant actually furnished, sold, or gave away an alcoholic drink to a specific person or caused the same to happen and
  • That the accused sold or furnished the liquor knowing that the person was under 21 years old at the time.
  • The penalties for a misdemeanor charge include fines of up to $1,000 and at least 24 hours of community service.
  • If the minor receives an injury or causes an injury to someone else due to the alcohol, then the penalty will be harsher with between 6-months to 1-year in jail, for the crime.
  • The business establishment where the alcohol was sold from could also have their liquor license revoked or suspended, effectively causing the business to fail.

Having a capable attorney from the Johnson Criminal Law Group on your side to defend you is important if you want to avoid the worst outcome. Call our office now for a consultation.

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