California Business & Professions Code Section 25631 BPC: Selling Alcohol Between 2:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M.
When owners of grocery stores, convenience stores, bars and other businesses get their beer, wine and liquor licenses, they are taking on the responsibility of selling or serving alcohol in accordance with state laws.
One state law that you should be aware of is the law that you cannot sell alcohol between the hours of 2:00am and 6:00am in the State of California. If you do, you can be charged with a misdemeanor criminal charge.
When are You Guilty of this Crime?
In order to be convicted of selling alcohol between 2:00am and 6:00am, it must be proven that you were working as the licensee, agent or employee of the licensee in a business that has a license to sell alcohol. Additionally, it must also be proven that you sold alcohol between the prohibited hours.
What are a Few Examples of this Crime?
There are a few situations in which you can be charged with this crime. If a customer comes in and asks you to allow them to purchase alcohol between the prohibited hours, and if you agree to do so, you could be criminally charged.
Additionally, you should be aware of how the laws pertain to daylight savings time. Some people are under the misunderstanding that they can keep their store open and selling alcohol for an hour later because of the time change. However, according to the law, you can only continue selling alcohol for two hours after midnight. This means that if you are caught selling alcohol three hours after midnight due to daylight savings time, you could be charged.
What are the Consequences of Selling Alcohol During the Prohibited Hours?
Now that you have been formally charged with misdemeanor charges related to this crime, you could be wondering what you are facing. Luckily, it is a misdemeanor and not a felony. However, it can still have an effect on your personal life. Not only do you have to worry about potentially having to pay costly court fines and costs, but you could actually face up to six months in jail. Plus, you have to worry about the same impact that any misdemeanor criminal offense could have on your life, such as an impact on housing, job opportunities and reputation.
However, in this situation, you have to worry about more than just your personal life being affected. Instead, you should know that your business could be greatly affected by this type of conviction. If you are found guilty, then your company’s liquor license could be at risk of revocation. Depending on the nature of the business that you operate, this could be crippling.
What are Some Possible Defenses for This Crime?
There are a few ways that a lawyer can help you defend yourself if you have been accused of this crime. For example, if you were not acting as a licensee, agent or employee — such as if you brought along a case of beer from your store when attending a party after 2:00 in the morning — then you cannot be found guilty.
Of course, the defenses that will used in your case will depend on the specifics of your case. Because of this, it’s smart to sit down with a lawyer who can talk to you about all of the individual factors that relate to your case. Then, he or she can begin working on providing the best possible defense.
What Should You Do if You are Facing These Charges?
If you are a business owner who is facing these charges, then it’s critical for you to do what you can to defend yourself. Defending yourself in court might not be the best course of action. Instead, consider hiring an attorney.
By hiring a lawyer, you can get professional guidance and legal representation that is based on the specifics of your case. This can help you avoid the repercussions that can go along with a criminal conviction for this charge.