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Providing Alcohol to a Minor Lawyers in Orlando, FL

Attorney’s Guide on Providing Alcohol to a Minor in Florida

Under Sec. 562.11, Florida Statutes, Providing Alcohol to a Minor is committed in Florida when any person sells, gives, or serves alcoholic beverages to someone under 21 years of age, or permits alcoholic beverages to be served to such a person. There are important exceptions to this rule:

  • When the minor is at least 18 years old and is working for a licensed establishment.
  • When alcohol is provided to a student who is at least 18 years old and is only tasting alcohol as part of a proper postsecondary educational institution’s curriculum.

Penalties for Providing Alcohol to a Minor in Florida

Offense Level Penalty
First Offense or offense committed more than 1 year after a prior conviction (Second-degree misdemeanor) Up to 60 days in jail or 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine
Offense committed less than a year after a prior conviction (First-degree misdemeanor) Up to 1 year in jail or 1 year of probation, and a $1,000 fine

Additional consequences may apply if you were operating a licensed establishment when alcohol was provided to a minor, as the State may take administrative action on your license.

Defending Against a Charge of Providing Alcohol to a Minor in Florida

In Florida, defending against a charge of Providing Alcohol to a Minor requires the expertise of a skilled Orlando criminal defense attorney at Leppard Law. An effective defense strategy can include:

  • Lack of Knowledge of Underage Status: If the minor falsely represented that they were at least 21 years old, appeared to be 21 based on their appearance, provided an identification card which was checked by the defendant, and the defendant acted in good faith, this could serve as a complete defense.
  • Motion to Suppress: This involves seeking to exclude evidence obtained in violation of your constitutional rights. For instance, if the police did not follow proper procedures during your arrest or interrogation, any evidence they obtained may be thrown out.
  • Lack of Supporting Evidence: If there is insufficient evidence to prove that you provided alcohol to a minor, this could result in the charges being dismissed.
  • Alibi: If you were somewhere else at the time of the alleged offense, this could serve as a solid defense.

FAQs on Providing Alcohol to a Minor in Florida

1. What constitutes Providing Alcohol to a Minor in Florida?

Providing Alcohol to a Minor is committed when any person sells, gives, or serves alcoholic beverages to someone under 21 years of age, or permits alcoholic beverages to be served to such a person.

2. What are the penalties for Providing Alcohol to a Minor in Florida?

For a first offense, or an offense committed more than 1 year after a prior conviction, it’s a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail or 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine.

An offense committed less than a year after a prior conviction becomes a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail or 1 year of probation, and a $1,000 fine.

3. Are there exceptions to the law prohibiting Providing Alcohol to a Minor in Florida?

Yes, exceptions include when the minor is at least 18 years old and is working for a licensed establishment or is tasting alcohol as part of a postsecondary educational institution’s curriculum.

4. What defenses can be used against a charge of Providing Alcohol to a Minor?

A defense attorney can use strategies like a motion to suppress, showing a lack of supporting evidence, or providing an alibi. It can also be argued that the defendant lacked knowledge of the minor’s age if the minor misrepresented their age and appeared to be at least 21 years old.

5. Can a conviction for Providing Alcohol to a Minor result in the suspension of your business license?

Yes, if you were operating a licensed establishment when the incident occurred, the State may take administrative action on your license.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney at Leppard Law

If you are facing a charge of Providing Alcohol to a Minor in Florida, don’t delay in seeking legal representation. Contact the experienced attorneys at Leppard Law for a free initial consultation. Protect your rights and freedom. Reach out to us today!

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