Serving Or Selling Alcohol to a Minor in NJ

no minors drinking drink alcohol sign

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the following information and to contact an experienced  criminal defense attorney if you are charged with furnishing alcohol to minors.

What Exactly is Illegal About Giving Alcohol to a Minor?

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-17, if you purposefully or knowingly serve or make alcoholic beverages available to anyone under the legal age to consume alcohol, you can be convicted of furnishing alcohol to a minor. Likewise, if you entice or encourage a minor to drink an alcoholic beverage, you could also be convicted of this crime.

Additionally, if you leave your property in the care of another person with the purpose of having alcoholic beverages made available on the premises for consumption by minors, you could be convicted of furnishing alcohol to minors.  This second component of the law is designed to close a potential loophole in which you intend to provide alcohol to minors but are not around when it happens.

If you are convicted of furnishing alcohol to a minor, you will be guilty of disorderly persons offense. You can face up to 6 months in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, and a criminal record.

Moreover, New Jersey’s Social Host Liability Law imposes civil penalties on social hosts who serve alcohol to minors who subsequently are involved in accidents causing injury or death. This means you could be facing both criminal and civil penalties for furnishing a minor with alcohol!

Are There Any Exceptions?

There are several exceptions to the law preventing adults from providing alcohol to minors.

  • First, if you are the parent or legal guardian of the minor and you are above the legal age to consume alcohol, then you will not be guilty.
  • Second, if the consumption of alcohol pertains to a religious observance, ceremony, or rite, then (in most circumstances) you also will not be guilty.
  • Third, if you are providing alcohol to another parent’s child in the presence of and with the permission of that parent (as long as that parent is of the legal age to consume alcohol), then you will not be guilty.

If charged, be sure to contact an experienced attorney in order to avoid possible jail time and a criminal conviction.

Who Should You Contact?

If you or a loved one was recently charged with furnishing a minor with alcohol, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of  The Rosenblum Law Firm today. Mr. Rosenblum is a skilled criminal defense attorney who has helped people in similar situations. He will defend your constitutional rights and do what he can to have your charges dismissed. E-mail or call him today at 888-815-3649.