If you have a business or other entity in New York that produces, distributes, or sells liquor, state law requires you obtain a liquor license. However, because the state considers it vital to be able to regulate this area of law in a reasonable manner, each locality and county within New York determines a license quota, meaning not everyone applying for a license is granted one. In addition to this, the term of the license is also determined by the various locales, in conjunction with state and federal regulations that may apply. And once your license expires, it will be up to your locale to determine if renewal is an option. Due to these and other complexities, it is important to work with New York lawyers who handle these situations on a regular basis, such as those at Raiser and Kenniff.
To get a liquor license in New York, you must meet certain requirements. These include being age 21 or older, judged to be of sound mind, a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, and free of criminal convictions. In addition, police officers cannot be granted a liquor license, and if you have had a liquor license revoked within two years of your current application, your request will be denied.
Depending on the type of establishment you operate, costs for a liquor license in New York can vary greatly. For example, if selling wine in restaurants and hotels, the cost may be less than $500. However, if you are a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer, your cost for a license may exceed $6,000. Due to the many variations that come with getting licenses for certain establishments, it is to rely on the services of an experienced retail liquor license attorney for guidance in these matters.
Once you successfully obtain a liquor license, the one thing you do not want to see happen is being guilty of violations regarding various aspects of your license. Depending on the severity of the violations, the penalties can include fines, imprisonment, revoking of the license, or a combination of these penalties. The most common violation involves selling liquor to those under age 21, and can carry numerous penalties. In general, business owners are given two probationary periods when found to be in violation, but if a third violation occurs, they may be put out of business for up to one year. If you find yourself being accused of liquor license violations, contact an experienced New York retail liquor license attorney immediately. Otherwise, you could find yourself out of business permanently, along with facing fines or imprisonment.
Challenging a License Suspension
If your violations have resulted in having your liquor license suspended, your New York retail liquor license attorney will be able to challenge the suspension on a number of fronts. For example, if you are the victim of a minor using a fake ID to obtain liquor, your attorney can argue that with today’s technology making it almost impossible for an average person to know what is fake or what is real, you simply made an honest mistake. In other circumstances, you may have been the victim of a law enforcement sting operation where a minor was used as a decoy. In many of these situations, the minor fails to follow proper ABC decoy rules, which can work in your favor in court. By having an experienced and knowledgeable retail liquor license attorney from Raiser and Kenniff on your side, these charges can often be dismissed.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Whether you are applying for a liquor license or challenging a suspension, the importance of having proper legal representation in these matters cannot be emphasized strongly enough. Since many communities consider these matters very controversial, your attorney can represent you not only in court hearings, but also at hearings before the New York State Liquor Authority, local community board hearings, and other situations where you do not want to be caught off-guard. Therefore, if you are in need of an experienced attorney who can guide you through this complex process and ensure your legal rights are protected along the way, contact the law firm of Raiser and Kenniff.