Nowadays, teens and young adults come up with all different ways in which to obtain alcohol. Whether to consume at a party or with a bunch of friends in a dorm room, they often obtain false but otherwise valid-looking documentation to try and purchase alcohol, despite being under the age of 21. As we all know, the legal drinking age all across the country and in Texas is 21, yet that doesn’t stop some minors from still trying to purchase alcohol. At the Fulgham Law Firm, P.C., we understand that mistakes can easily be made by a liquor store clerk, restaurant, bar or other individual who unknowingly sells alcohol to a minor. However, such an innocent error in judgment could result in serious legal repercussions, including a monetary fine of up to $4,000 and potential jail time for a year or less. With this in mind, it is critical to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of cases, as early intervention can mean the difference between jail time and freedom.
If you have been charged with selling alcohol to a minor and are being contacted by investigators about your case, avoid saying or doing anything without having a qualified Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer by your side. As most people are aware, anything you say can and most definitely will be used against you in court. A criminal defense attorney will be able to review your legal options, advise you of your rights, and help you to proceed in your case with the most solid and effective defense strategies possible. Don’t sacrifice your rights – contact the Fulgham Law Firm, P.C. today to learn more about how our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code
Under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (the “Code”) § 106.03 entitled “Sale to Minors,” the law provides that: “(a) [a] person commits an offense if with criminal negligence he sells an alcoholic beverage to a minor. (b) A person who sells a minor an alcoholic beverage does not commit an offense if the minor falsely represents himself to be 21 years old or older by displaying an apparently valid proof of identification that contains a physical description and photograph consistent with the minor’s appearance, purports to establish that the minor is 21 years of age or older, and was issued by a governmental agency. The proof of identification may include a driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety, a passport, or a military identification card. (c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.”
Defenses are Available
While the penalties associated with being convicted of selling alcohol to a minor are serious, there are defenses available to either reduce or dismiss your charges. For example, the law specifically provides that a person does not commit such an offense if he or she was presented with an apparently valid form if identification, including a government issued driver’s license or passport. Moreover, under § 106.06 of the Code, a person may also have a valid defense if a minor was given alcohol or had alcohol purchased for them by a parent, spouse, or legal guardian and consumes or possesses it while visibly in their presence. Contact the Fulgham Law Firm, P.C. now to learn more about your legal options and the possible defenses that can be raised on your behalf.
Former Fort Worth Criminal Prosecutor Ready to Help You Now
If you or someone you love has been charged with selling alcohol to a minor in Texas, contact our seasoned Forth Worth, Arlington and Tarrant County criminal defense attorneys now at (817) 886-3078. We will take the time you need to review your case, develop strong legal defenses on your behalf, and ensure that you receive the superior legal representation you deserve. Our initial consultation is always free and it’s also completely confidential, so do not hesitate to call us now to learn more about how we can help you. At the Fulgham Law Firm, P.C., our goal is to prevent you from facing jail time and also, to help clear your record. We leave no stone unturned and will take all actions necessary to fight for your rights.