Disqualification Removal Petition
New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Law Attorneys
Under New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, persons convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude are unable to have any interest in or work as an ABC licensed business. What qualifies as a crime of moral turpitude is not clearly defined under ABC law. If you are simply seeking to work at a licensed restaurant or bar, you will require a Rehabilitation Employment Permit. However, those individuals with a criminal record seeking to possess an interest in a liquor license will be required to obtain a special Ruling from the Director of ABC for a Disqualification Removal. If you would like to purchase a liquor license or currently own a license but did not disclose that you were criminal disqualified, contact the ABC liquor licensing attorneys at Proetta & Oliver. Our team of trial attorneys includes former ABC Deputy Attorney General, William C. Fay, IV. Mr. Fay has experience obtaining Disqualification Removals on behalf of clients and he will work to obtain a Special Ruling on your behalf. Call 732.858.5857 today for your complimentary consultation.
What is a Crime of Moral Turpitude?
Two things must be present for a “crime of moral turpitude”: (1) a “crime” must have occurred and (2) the crime must be one of moral turpitude.
By definition, convictions for disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offense are not crimes. In New Jersey, only Indictable Offenses, sometimes called felonies, will qualify as a “crime.” This may vary from State to State however. Such convictions can bear on whether or not a person is reputable, however, and in such instance an issuing authority could decline to issue or transfer an alcoholic beverage license to a person who has not established that she/he is a reputable person who will operate the business in a reputable manner.
The term “moral turpitude” denotes a serious crime from the viewpoint of society in general, and usually contains elements of dishonesty, fraud or depravity. Such crimes are generally but not exclusively contained in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, N.J.S.A. 2C:1-1, et seq., and are subject to indictment and punishment by confinement for over one year in state prison.
How to Apply for a Criminal Disqualification Removal?
If your criminal history includes a crime of moral turpitude, you are not without recourse. You may still work at or own a liquor license if you file for and receive the necessary documentation. For those looking to hold and interest in a New Jersey Liquor License, you must petition for a Disqualification Removal. To be eligible for the removal, it must have been at least five (5) years from the date of the conviction or release from confinement (whichever is later). If you satisfy this requirement, you may file a Petition with the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control for Removal. The petition must establish that the person has conducted himself/herself in a law-abiding manner during the period after his/her conviction and that his or her association with the alcoholic beverage industry of the State would not be contrary to the best interests of the public. You will be subject to long and drawn-out background investigation by the ABC Enforcement Bureau and ABC Investigations Bureau. Depending on their recommendation, the ABC Director will either grant or deny your Petition for Order Removing Criminal Disqualification. If it is determined that your Petition was based on false information, you may be subject to criminal charges for False Statements.
Conviction of a disorderly persons offense, an arrest without conviction or placement in a Pretrial Intervention (P.T.I.) program, does not cause a person to be statutorily disqualified from holding an interest in a license or being employed by a licensee, provided such person is otherwise qualified.
Notice of Charges for Employing a Disqualified Person
When employing someone, a licensee must first determine if that person has been convicted of a crime. Failure to do so could result in charges for Employing a Criminal Disqualified Person and a suspension of your license. For those individuals who possess and interest in the license and are criminally disqualified, you will be facing revocation of your license, unless you have first obtained a disqualification removal.
New Jersey Liquor License Attorney
For representation in obtaining a Disqualification Removal from the Director of ABC, call the ABC attorneys at 732-858-5857. Do not risk denial of your petition by filing for Removal with just any attorney. Obtain the expertise and knowledge of a former ABC Deputy Attorney General. Our representatives are available 24/7 for your convenience.