Criminal Disqualification Removal for Liquor License Buyer
Recently, our firm was retained to help resolve a pending issue for an individual seeking to purchase a liquor license in New Jersey. The buyer and his original attorney entered into a Contract of Sale for a retail consumption license (restaurant/bar). However, neither had accounted for the buyer’s prior criminal history. During the background investigation process performed by the township’s police department, a criminal background check showed a laundry list of arrests and criminal charges in various states. Based on this information, the police department refused to approve the transfer of the sale based on the buyer’s criminal record.
At this point, my office was contacted to fix these issues. After I was brought in, I contact the necessary parties for an explanation of the issues and determine how I could cure these problems. I obtained a certified disposition from all of the courts where my client had prior arrests or charges. After a careful review of the documentation, I drafted and filed a Motion with the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control seeking an assessment for a Criminal Disqualification Removal of my client.
Thankfully for my client, I was able to resolve the issue and obtain clearance from the NJ Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control for transfer of the license to my client. This was done in an expeditious manner so that the proposed closing date for the sale could continue.
What is a Criminally Disqualified Licensee in NJ?
In New Jersey, it is unlawful for a person to be employed or own a liquor license if they have been convicted of a “crime of moral turpitude.” However, what qualifies as crime of moral turpitude? Well this a fluid question that varies depending upon state and federal law. To determine is you have been disqualified from owning a liquor license based on a criminal conviction, you should contact an ABC Liquor Law Attorney.