Many businesses exist only because they have liquor licenses. These include enterprises that manufacture spirits, wine, or beer as well as retail and wholesale liquor distributors and bars, nightclubs, and taverns. There are also businesses that rely heavily on having liquor licenses, including restaurants and bistros.
A business faces serious issues when it faces liquor license violations. When a business receives a notice of liquor license violation, it is vital that the enterprise take immediate and proactive steps to protect its legal rights and interests.
Retain a Skilled and Experienced Liquor License Violation Attorney
When a business receives notification of a liquor license violation, the enterprise should seek assistance from a qualified, skilled liquor license violation attorney promptly. A business should seriously consider taking this step before having any contact with the liquor license authority.
Odds are that in the direct aftermath of receiving a notice of violation, a representative of the liquor licensing authority will attempt to contact a principal associated with the licensed entity. The reality is that a business can jeopardize its interests by entering into discussions with, by answering questions posed by, the liquor license authority. A business facing a liquor license violation should not communicate with the licensing authority without the assistance of legal counsel in order to best protect legal interests.
The first step in retaining legal representation is scheduling what is known as an initial consultation. During an initial consultation, an experienced liquor license violation lawyer has the opportunity to review the violation notice itself, and the accompanying evidence. This permits legal counsel the ability to evaluate the allegations being made against a business.
The liquor license violation lawyer will present possible defenses to a violation notice. In addition, legal counsel will discuss whether attempting to reach a settlement with the liquor licensing authority might make sense in a particular case. A liquor license violation lawyer will discuss what a settled resolution might look like in your case. As a general rule, a liquor license violation lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation with a business named in a liquor license violation.
Liquor License Violation Sanctions
One prime reason why engaging a liquor license violation lawyer early on is to attempt a settled resolution of an allegation, if possible and appropriate. Although there are situations in which fighting a violation to the proverbial bitter ends may make sense, that oftentimes is not the case. In many instances, a licensed enterprise best preserves its long term interests by reaching a settlement with the liquor license authority.
A business necessarily will want to avoid more significant sanctions that directly impact its license. These include a license suspension.
The reality is that depending on the nature of the allegation being made against a business, and whether a business has had prior violations, a license suspension could be in the offing.
A license suspension oftentimes results in the shuttering a business for a number of days. The financial and public ramifications of a close business can be significant.
The early intervention of legal counsel can also assist in lowering the amount of a fine that may be imposed against a business. The reality is that the fines associated with certain types of liquor license violations can be extensive.
Violations for Not Having a Proper Liquor License
Another line of potential violations are those associated with serving or distributing liquor in some manner without a proper license. The primary penalty that occurs in this type of situation is monetary. However, depending upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the violation, a referral could be made for criminal prosecution as well.
One scenario in which a business can face a violation arising out of the lack of a proper license involves an enterprise that did have a proper license at one point, but the license was not renewed in a timely manner and expired. Oftentimes when this occurs, it is a matter of negligence on the part of the business. Those responsible for the operation of a business somehow managed to overlook a timely license renewal.
In this type of situation, properly defending or settling a violation notice is crucial. The business undoubtedly will want to keep operating and does not want to lose the ability to renew its license going forward.