24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

New York Liquor License Violations Lawyers


New York Liquor License Violations Lawyers

Getting in trouble with the New York State Liquor Authority can be scary. As a bar, restaurant, or liquor store owner, your livelihood depends on having a valid liquor license. If the SLA suspends or revokes your license, you could end up going out of business. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced liquor license lawyer on your side if you get an SLA violation.

There are lots of ways businesses can run afoul of the SLA rules. Some common violations include:

  • Selling alcohol to minors
  • Selling to visibly intoxicated persons
  • Staying open or serving past legal hours
  • Letting underage employees handle alcohol
  • Allowing disorderly conduct on premises
  • Allowing gambling or drugs on premises
  • Serving outdoors without a sidewalk cafe permit

When the SLA charges you with a violation, they’ll send a Notice of Pleading explaining the alleged offense. You then have to respond by either pleading:

  1. Not Guilty – a hearing gets scheduled
  2. No Contest – you accept the penalty without a hearing
  3. Guilty – you accept the charges and penalty

Pleading not guilty means you’ll have a hearing where you can argue your case before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This is your chance to fight the charges and avoid fines or suspension. But it takes experience and preparation to win.

SLA Penalties You Want to Avoid

If the ALJ sustains the charges after a hearing, the SLA can impose tough penalties like:

  • Suspension – Shut down alcohol sales/service for days, weeks, or months
  • Cancellation – Lose your license but can reapply in 2 years
  • Revocation – Lose your license and can’t reapply for 2 years
  • Fines – Monetary penalties from $1000 to $10,000+
  • Bond Forfeiture – Loss of your surety bond funds

These penalties can put you out of business if you depend on alcohol sales. Even a short suspension of liquor service can cost you thousands in lost revenue.

How Lawyers Defend SLA Violations

Experienced New York liquor license lawyers know how to defend businesses against SLA charges. Here are some of the most effective strategies:

Question the Evidence

SLA investigators often rely on hearsay or circumstantial evidence. Your lawyer can scrutinize the testimony and documents for inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and procedural errors.

Raise Affirmative Defenses

There are legal defenses that can defeat SLA charges if proven. For example, you aren’t liable if employees sold alcohol in violation of policies. Or you may argue “entrapment” by undercover agents.

Negotiate Lesser Penalties

Your lawyer may be able to negotiate a deal for reduced charges or penalties prior to the hearing. This can save you money and avoid suspension if the evidence is strong.

Highlight Mitigating Factors

You can avoid revocation by showing the violation was an isolated incident and that you acted responsibly to prevent future issues.

File Appeals

If you lose at the initial SLA hearing, your lawyer can appeal to the SLA’s board and then to the courts. Appeals can result in charges being overturned or penalties reduced.

How to Find the Best Liquor License Lawyer

Choosing the right lawyer is key to successfully fighting SLA violations. Look for these qualities:

  • Extensive experience handling SLA cases
  • Good relationships with SLA officials
  • High rate of charges dismissed/reduced
  • Reasonable legal fees
  • Good reviews from clients

Also make sure they focus specifically on liquor licensing law. General lawyers often lack the specialized knowledge needed to win these cases.

With an experienced liquor license violations lawyer on your side, you can rest easier knowing your business is in good hands. They have the skills and determination to get charges dismissed or penalties minimized. Don’t leave your livelihood to chance – hire a lawyer and fight back against the SLA.

Schedule Your Consultation Now