Sale of Alcohol to a Minor

To many people, it may not seem like a big deal to give alcohol to a minor. It is not uncommon for minors to ask adults to buy them alcohol or for parents to allow underage children to drink alcohol in their homes. These people may think that the punishment for giving alcohol to minors will be trivial, however in reality, the sale of alcohol to a minor can result in serious consequences. If you or someone you know has been arrested for the sale of alcohol to a minor in Orange County, an experienced attorney may be able to help with your case.

In California, crimes related to the sale of alcohol to a minor are covered under California Business and Professions Code Section 25658. California Business and Professions Code Section 25658 makes it illegal to sell or provide an alcoholic beverage to anyone who is under 21 years old.

One common place that sale of alcohol to a minor frequently occurs is around college campuses. Students who are under 21 years old may approach a person at a grocery store or gas station to ask the person to buy them alcohol. Police officers often conduct sting operations using minor decoys trying to purchase alcoholic beverages at various businesses. If you or someone you know are facing charges related to the sale of alcohol to a minor in Orange County, an experienced attorney can help with your case.

Restaurant workers and bartenders can also be charged with the sale of alcohol to a minor. For example, a busy bartender who does not check a person’s ID before providing them with an alcoholic beverage could be charged with this crime even if the person looked like they were over 21 and they did not know that the person was underage. Minors are not allowed to enter or remain in a bar.

Sometimes minors use a fake ID at businesses to try and purchase alcohol. If a minor uses a fake ID to try and purchase alcohol, business owners and employees should alert the authorities and try to stall the minor until the police arrive.


The sale of alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor in California and applies both to the person who furnishes the minor with alcohol as well as the minor themselves who purchases the alcohol. Penalties for the sale of alcohol to a minor may include fines, jail time, and/or community service. Additionally, under California Penal Code Section 272, a person could also be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. This charge is also a misdemeanor, however it carries additional jail time and potentially higher fines. Businesses who provide alcohol to minors also face the potential loss of their business license. An experienced lawyer can assist you in fighting your case and may be the reason you are able to keep these charges off your criminal record.

Orange County defense attorney William Weinberg is an experienced lawyer in Orange County who has many years of experience defending clients charged criminal cases. He will consider your case free of charge and advise you of your options. Mr. Weinberg takes the time to individually review each potential client’s case to provide a plan that works best for their circumstances. To reach him please contact his Irvine office at 949-474-8008 or by emailing him at

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