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Illegal Activity on License Premises

Our Former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General has handled hundreds of ABC cases. Let us put our experience to work for you.

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Notice of Charges From NJ Alcoholic Beverage Control

New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Regulations enumerate various specific acts that would constitute a “violation”, under law. Specifically, illegal acts such as Drug Possession, Drug Distribution, and Gambling are prosecuted as violations under their own respective codes. However, the State provides for a catch-all to prosecute a liquor license for allowing illegal activity of any sort under N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.5(c). Most commonly, these charges are filed for acts of prostitution at strip clubs, but this regulation can be applied beyond that. If charged, the licensee may be facing revocation of their New Jersey liquor license, depending on the facts of the case. If you or your license received a Notice of Charges that included Illegal Activity, 13:2-23.5, call the Alcoholic Beverage Law Attorneys at Proetta, Oliver & Fay. Our firm specializes in New Jersey Liquor Laws and regulations. Headed by Former Deputy Attorney General of ABC, William C. Fay, IV, our firm is well-positioned to represent you and your interests in any ABC matter. Call today at 732-858-5857 and speak with Mr. Fay about your case.


Pursuant to 13:2-23.5(c), “no licensee shall allow, permit or suffer the licensed premises to be accessible to any premises upon which illegal activity or enterprise is carried on, or the licensed premises or business to be used in furtherance or aid of or accessible to any illegal activity or enterprise.”

This regulation is not very clear in its phrasing, but essentially states that illegal activity may not occur on the licensed premises. Furthermore, knowledge of the illegal activity by the owner is irrelevant. This charge is prosecuted under the strict liability standard. This means that the licensee is held liable for the actions of his employees and his patrons, regardless of whether or not he was even present when the conduct occurred. For example, if you are a owner of a strip club and your “dancers” solicit cash in exchange for sexual acts, you as the licensee will be facing civil charges for Illegal Activity (in addition to any criminal charges that may or may not be filed). This is a very daunting experience for any liquor licensee unfamiliar with ABC Charges and requires the care and attention of an experienced lawyer.

Penalty for Illegal Activity at Liquor License

Under New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s penalty schedule, the penalties for a guilty plea to Illegal Activity on the Licensed Premises are the following:

  • First Offense: 30-day suspension of the licensee’s privileges
  • Second Offense: 60-day suspension of the licensee’s privileges
  • Third Offense: 90-day suspension of the licensee’s privileges
  • Fourth Offense: Revocation of your liquor license and mandatory removal from any other licenses in which you own 10% or more.

New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control Attorney

Do not let the State ABC railroad you into a suspension of your liquor license. Call the attorneys experienced at prosecuting and defending these very charges. Our representatives can be reached 24/7 at 732-858-5857.

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Proetta, Oliver & Fay

100 Horizon Center Boulevard,
Hamilton, NJ 08691
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Jersey City, NJ 07302
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Cranford, New Jersey 07016
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Edison, New Jersey 08820
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Middletown Township, NJ 07748
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525 Highway 73, Suite 104,
Marlton, NJ 08053
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