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Selling or Furnishing an Alcoholic Beverage to a Person Under 21: Business & Professions Code Section 25658(A) BPC

California law Business & Professions Code Section 25658(A) prohibits giving or selling alcohol to a person under the age of 21. The drinking age in California is 21 years old. It’s against the law to drink alcohol if you’re under 21 years old. It’s also against the law to furnish minor to an alcohol.

What counts as giving alcohol to a minor?

To be convicted of a crime, the state must prove all of the elements of the crime against you. You have the right to a trial, and you have the right to representation from an attorney. For a violation of California law Business & Professions Code Section 25658(A), the state must prove that you provided alcohol to someone under 21.

It doesn’t matter if the minor paid you for the alcohol or not. It counts if you give them alcohol or exchange the alcohol for something else. The state must also prove that the person you gave alcohol to was under the age of 21.

Is a mistake a defense?

The way the law is written, it’s not a defense that the person looked over 21. The court can convict you of the offense even if you honestly thought the person was over 21. However, you should still talk to a California criminal defense attorney to see if you can raise the defense of an honest mistake and ask the jury to find you not guilty. If you relied on an official identification card that turned out to be fake, you may have a viable defense to the charges. You may have to prove that the identification looked real.

The state can use underage people to trick you

Law enforcement officials can even use underage people to set up a sting. They can use minors to ask other people to go into a store and buy alcohol for them. They can use a minor to enter a bar and ask for service. A minor who participates in a sting is immune from prosecution. However, someone who falls for the sting might face charges.

What happens to me if I’m convicted?

If you’re convicted of selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor, you receive a misdemeanor conviction on your record. That can make it harder to for you to find a job, join the military or even volunteer at your child’s school. The court also imposes penalties that include fines and community service. The maximum fine is $1000, but you may also have to pay court costs in addition to your fine.

The court must also order you to perform community service. You can expect to serve at least 24 hours of community service. If someone gets seriously hurt because you gave alcohol to a minor, you face at least six months in jail.

Penalties for a business

There are additional penalties if the violation occurred in relation to your business. You might face suspension of your license to sell liquor at your establishment. That can mean loss of your livelihood. It can also impact employees who depend on you.

Defending against the charges against you

Because the consequences for a conviction are so severe, it’s important to aggressively defend against the charges against you. You may have to defend yourself against criminal charges as well as defend against actions regarding your license to sell alcohol. It’s important to pay attention to deadlines and take the time to carefully build your case.

Your attorney can work with you to build your case. You should carefully review the police report to determine what evidence the state plans to rely on to prove their case. Your attorney can work with you in order to contact witnesses, evaluate an identification card if one was used in the case and examine the credibility of those testifying against you.

Addressing the entire case and preparing your best defense

When you face a charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor, you might also face other charges. The state might charge you with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In addition, if you’re convicted of furnishing alcohol to a minor, you might lose your license to sell alcohol for 15 days for a first offense. For multiple convictions, you might lose your license permanently. It’s important to address all aspects of the case in order to work towards the best possible outcome under California law.


Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
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I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
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Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
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My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
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Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!

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"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

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