15260 Ventura Blvd. Suite 1200 Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, CA 91403 | (818) 570-0836 | (510) 852-9296
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California Gaming License Defense Attorney

We practice Administrative Law Gaming License Defense in California

California Liquor License Defense Attorney

California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control License Defense Lawyer

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, known as ABC, licenses several hundred thousand Liquor Licensees in the State of California. Most California Liquor Licensees have minimal or no contact with the enforcement arm of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. For Liquor Licensees who become part of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s disciplinary process, the consequences are profound. The Liquor License disciplinary process is complex, procedural and time consuming. Liquor Licensees facing the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control disciplinary process should seek legal representation from an experienced California Liquor License Defense Attorney.

California Liquor License Types and Disciplinary Action

There are numerous categories of liquor licenses issued by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Each liquor license category is called a “Type.” The most common liquor licenses are Type 20, Type 21, Type 41, Type 47, Type 48, Type 50, Type 51 and Type 52 and Type 77. Each Liquor License Type allows for certain alcohol sale privileges.

We represent the following businesses with California Liquor Licenses:

  • Banquet Hall Liquor License
  • Bar Liquor License
  • Convenience Store Liquor License
  • Liquor Store Liquor License
  • Lounge Liquor License
  • Nightclub Liquor License
  • Restaurant Liquor License
  • Retail Store Liquor License (Grocery Store, Minimart, etc.)

California ABC License Investigation Defense Lawyer

The majority of California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control investigations begin with the filing of a consumer Complaint. However, California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Investigations also occur through sting operations, criminal conviction referrals and criminal investigations. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control employs sworn Peace Officer Investigators to conduct criminal investigations against Liquor Licensees. These employees investigate criminal and administrative law violations. Administrative Law Due Process Rights differ substantially from the Due Process Rights accorded in criminal law.

It is important to have an attorney that understands the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control disciplinary process. At the conclusion of a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control investigation, the Department has several options. The Department can choose to close the Complaint. The Department can choose to issue a Citation. The Department can also choose to refer the matter to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Legal Division. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Legal Division will determine whether cause exists to file a formal disciplinary Accusation. In cases involving criminal conduct, the Department may refer the case to the District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.

If you are a Liquor Licensee facing a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control investigation, contact a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control License Defense Attorney for representation.

California Liquor License Accusation Defense Attorney

A formal Accusation served on a California Liquor Licensee serves as notice to a Liquor Licensee that the Department intends to revoke the Liquor License. The Liquor Licensee, now called the Respondent, has only 15 days from the date that the Accusation was served (not received, but served) to file a Notice of Defense. The failure to file a Notice of Defense results in a Default against the Liquor Licensee. A Default will result in the immediate Revocation of the Liquor License.

An Accusation is a serious matter that can result in the suspension or revocation of a Liquor License in California. In many cases, it is possible for Liquor Licensees to reach a Stipulated Agreement with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. A Stipulated Agreement is a formal term for a settlement agreement. If a Stipulated Agreement cannot be reached, the parties will proceed to a formal Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Liquor Licensees facing a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Accusation should contact an experienced California Liquor License Defense Attorney for representation. Common causes of action for disciplinary Accusations against Liquor Licensees include:

  • Contaminated Bottles
  • Employees Accepting Alcoholic Beverages
  • Employment of Minors
  • Exceeding License Privileges
  • Food Stamp Violations
  • Failure to Correct Objectionable Conditions
  • Failure to Permit Inspection of Premises
  • Furnishing Alcohol to Minors Under Age 21
  • Hidden Ownership
  • Gambling on LicensedPremises
  • Minor on Licensed Premises
  • Narcotics on Licensed Premises
  • Not Operating a Bona Fide Eating Place
  • Operating a Disorderly House
  • Operating Conditions Violations
  • Permitting Unlawful Sales of Alcohol or Controlled Substances
  • Refilling a Bottle or Other Alcohol Dispensing Item
  • Sale of Alcohol to Minors Under Age 21
  • Sale of Alcohol to Obviously Intoxicated Person
  • Sale or Consumption of Alcohol After Hours

California Liquor License Hearing Attorney

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, also known as ABC, employs Administrative Law Judges to preside over Administrative Law Hearings. The Administrative Law Judges hold Hearings at ABC offices throughout California. California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC, offices are located in the following cities:

  • Bakersfield
  • Eureka
  • Fresno
  • Long Beach/Lakewood
  • Los Angeles
  • Monrovia
  • Oakland
  • Palm Desert
  • Redding
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • Salinas
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • San Luis Obispo
  • San Marcos
  • Santa Ana
  • Santa Rosa
  • Stockton
  • Van Nuys
  • Ventura

The Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ, will issue a written Proposed Decision approximately 30 days after the Hearing. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control can adopt, modify or reject the ALJ’s Proposed Decision. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s action is called the Final Decision and Order. Final Decision & Orders can be appealed to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board, or ABCAB. Subsequent Appeals are filed with the California Courts of Appeal and ultimately with the California Supreme Court.

California Liquor Licensees facing a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Administrative Law Hearing need effective representation from a California Liquor License Defense Lawyer.

California Liquor License and Criminal Convictions

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control can discipline Liquor Licensees for criminal convictions. California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control discipline occurs for criminal convictions that are substantially related to the duties, functions and qualifications of a Liquor Licensee. Common criminal offenses that can cause Liquor License discipline are:

  • Altering or Forging a Prescription
  • Assault With a Deadly Weapon
  • Battery
  • Brandishing a Firearm
  • Burglary
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Endangerment
  • Diverting a Controlled Substance
  • Domestic Violence
  • DUI
  • Elder Abuse
  • False Imprisonment
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Hit & Run
  • Identity Theft
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Medicare Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud
  • Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Public Intoxication
  • Real Estate Fraud
  • Robbery
  • Sex Offenses
  • Theft
  • Trespass
  • Vandalism
  • Vehicular Manslaughter

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and other law enforcement agencies also investigate criminal conduct by Liquor Licensees in the course and scope of their trade. Criminal investigations often involve Liquor Licensees engaged in  Maintaining a Disorderly House, Possession for Sale of Narcotics and Selling Alcohol to Minors Under Age 21. In serious criminal cases against Liquor Licensees pending in Criminal Court, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Legal Division may seek a California Penal Code § 23 Order against the Liquor Licensee. A California Penal Code § 23 Order seeks to suspend a Liquor License in Criminal Court.

Liquor Licensees facing criminal charges and Liquor Licensees who are convicted of criminal offenses need an experienced California Liquor License Defense Attorney for representation in disciplinary proceedings before the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

California ABC Statement of Issues Attorney

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control thoroughly investigates all applicants for Liquor Licenses. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control may deny a California Liquor License for a variety of reasons. Most California Liquor License denials occur due to criminal convictions, financial problems or misstatements on the Liquor License application. Statement of Issues Hearings and Accusation Hearings before the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control maintain a similar procedure. However, in a Statement of Issues Hearing, the applicant bears the burden of proof. Individuals denied a Liquor License should contact a California Liquor License Denial Lawyer for representation in a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Statement of Issues Hearing.