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Selling Alcohol to Underage Persons

To be charged with selling alcohol to underage persons, you must have done any of the following:

  • Sold alcohol to someone who’s underage, bought it for them or given it to them, unless you were a doctor and giving it for medical purposes, or it was for religious purposes, or the underage person was supervised by a parent, spouse who’s not underage or legal guardian
  • Knowingly allowed an underage person to possess or drink alcohol on your own property, unless it was given to them by their parent, spouse who’s not underage or legal guardian, and they supervised the underage person
  • Made or used a reservation at a hotel, inn, cabin, campground or restaurant when either of the following was true:
    • An underage person drank on the property, unless you are their parent, spouse who’s not underage or legal guardian and you were with them
    • Someone was using drugs on the property, unless they were prescribed to them and in their original container
  • Let an underage person make reservations at a hotel, inn, cabin or campground, or let someone else make reservations for them, if you know the underage person is already drunk or has alcohol and isn’t being supervised by a parent, spouse who’s not underage or legal guardian
  • Let an underage person be subject to any of the above, when you are their parent, spouse who’s not underage or legal guardian

Nearly every day in central Ohio people are charged with selling alcohol to underage persons. Selling alcohol to underage persons is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail. Certain underage sales charges also carry a mandatory minimum $500 fine.

If you are convicted of selling alcohol to underage persons, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Liquor sales permit suspension or revocation
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings

Simply put, if you are convicted of selling alcohol to underage persons, it could remain on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you rightly or wrongly run the risk of being considered a person who uses poor judgment. Therefore, it is critical that you to give your selling alcohol to underage persons offense the level of importance it deserves.

The Columbus Criminal Defense team takes an aggressive and comprehensive approach when representing clients charged with selling alcohol to underage persons. First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police made and what legal issues can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes and potentially a lab analysis of the alcohol. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal Defense team has successfully represented clients charged with selling alcohol to underage persons. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

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If you’ve been charged with an underage alcohol offense, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com.

This is a misdemeanor and carries the following penalties:
  • A possible jail sentence of up to six months
  • A fine of $500 to $1,000
This is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A jail sentence of up to 180 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $1,000
Have a question we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

Not necessarily. The Liquor Agency is free to revoke licenses after any offense, but generally for a first offense it’ll just fine you and suspend your license for a short period of time. Even so, your best course of action is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can get you the best outcome possible.

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335
advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com

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FAX: (614) 413-2886