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Selling Alcohol After Hours

Violation of Business & Professions Code 25631

Business and Professions Code 25631 BPC stands as a pivotal statute within California's legal framework, unequivocally forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages by liquor stores, bars, and clubs during the designated hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. This offense, classified as a misdemeanor, carries potential consequences such as imprisonment for up to six months and fines reaching a maximum of $1000.00. Commonly known as the "CA 2am alcohol law," this regulation serves as a stringent reminder of the stringent restrictions governing the sale, provision, or delivery of alcoholic beverages during the specified hours.

Understanding the Statute

The precise language of Business and Professions Code 25631 delineates the specific offense that individuals must avoid. According to the statute, any licensee, whether engaged in on- or off-sale establishments, as well as their employees or agents, who knowingly engage in the sale, giving, or delivery of alcoholic beverages to individuals between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., are deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. It is essential to note that during the transition from Pacific Standard Time to Pacific Daylight Saving Time, or vice versa, "2 o'clock a.m." refers to two hours after midnight of the previous day.

Illustrative Scenarios

To provide a more nuanced understanding of potential violations, let us delve into a few hypothetical scenarios:

  1. Picture a vibrant and bustling nightclub, teeming with the excitement of its clientele, succumbing to the pleas of a persistent patron who manages to secure a final beer at 2:04 a.m., just moments after the official closing time.
  2. Imagine a dedicated and festive bar owner, brimming with holiday cheer, unlocking the doors of their establishment at 5:30 a.m. on Labor Day, eagerly anticipating the early celebration of the holiday's spirit.
  3. Consider a bustling and well-stocked liquor store, swept up in the fervor and anticipation of New Year’s Eve, unknowingly continuing to sell alcohol until 5:00 a.m., blissfully unaware of the legal ramifications of their actions.

Available Defenses

Fortunately, there exist several legal defenses that can be effectively employed in cases involving violations of Business and Professions Code 25631. These defenses encompass establishing that the accused party was not a licensee engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages, demonstrating that any confession made was coerced under duress, or asserting that the arrest lacked probable cause, thereby challenging the legitimacy of the charges.

Penalties and Consequences

A violation of this statute is classified as a misdemeanor offense, carrying potential repercussions such as imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum period of six months and/or a fine reaching up to $1,000. It is of utmost importance to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney to fully comprehend the potential penalties and explore the most effective defense strategies.

Related Offenses

In addition to addressing the specifics outlined in Business and Professions Code 25631, it is crucial to grasp the related offenses that may arise in similar contexts. These offenses encompass the sale of alcoholic beverages at a public educational facility under Business and Professions Code 25608, charges of public intoxication under Penal Code 647(f), and violations of open container laws under Vehicle Code 23221-23229.

Seek Expert Legal Representation

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges under Business and Professions Code 25631 BPC, we strongly encourage you to promptly reach out to Second Chances Law Group for a free consultation. Our highly skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal guidance and working diligently towards achieving a complete dismissal of the charges. We are available 24/7 to assist you in navigating the complexities of the legal system and ensuring a robust defense tailored to your unique circumstances and needs.

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