Person Who is Not a Licensee Sell Liquor or Offer Liquor for Sale

The offence of Person Who is Not a Licensee Sell Liquor or Offer Liquor for Sale is found in section 107(1) of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998. It is a criminal offence that is committed by a person who was found to have sold liquor or offered liquor for sale despite not having the required license to do so. Note that when selling liquor in Victoria, a specific type of licence is required depending on the type of event or business the person is running, as well as depending on how the supply of liquor will be done.

Have you been accused of Person Who is Not a Licensee Sell Liquor or Offer Liquor for Sale?

Police Interview
You should speak to a lawyer and get specialised advice before beginning a Police interview. Our lawyers can attend the interview with you if that is what you need. If Police are interviewing you for selling liquor without a license it is likely that they already have the evidence they need to charge you with the offence. The Police are not calling you in to hear your version of events. They are interviewing you so that they can strengthen their case. Don’t assist the Police to prove their case by making admissions. Call us today for advice on how to conduct an interview.

Pleading Not Guilty
Did you not realise your license was expired? Are you charged with this offence when it was not actually you who committed the crime? Perhaps you have a defence that your premises is solely for residential purposes or there is not an unreasonable amount of liquor on the premises. Our lawyers are criminal law experts and can work with you to contest the charges. The Prosecution must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt which is a very high standard. We will help you vigorously fight the charges if you have been wrongly accused.

Pleading Guilty
Our expert criminal lawyers make pleas in the Magistrates’ Court every day and obtain excellent results for our clients. A conviction or a very large fine could affect your business or your professional career. Our lawyers will work hard with you to ensure that the Court is properly informed of the circumstances of your offending and your personal history. We can persuade the Court to give you the fairest sentence possible.

Which court will the case be heard in?
As a summary offence, any summons for this charge will primarily be handled by the Magistrates’ Court.

What is the legal definition of Person Who is Not a Licensee Sell Liquor or Offer Liquor for Sale?
  1. A person who is not a licensee must not sell liquor or offer liquor for sale.
Penalty: 240 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years.

  1. Subsection (1) does not apply to the sale of liquor, or the offer of liquor for sale, by an employee or agent of a licensee if the sale or offer is in accordance with the licence and this Act.
  2. If a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court must also order all liquor which is found in the possession of the person and the vessels containing it to be forfeited.
  3. For the purposes of this section, proof of consumption or intended consumption of liquor on any premises by a person other than the occupier of the premises is, as against the occupier, evidence that the liquor was sold to the person consuming or intending to consume it.
  4. The fact of there being on any premises more liquor than is reasonably required for the use of the persons residing on those premises is evidence of the sale of liquor by the occupier.
  5. Subsections (4) and (5) do not apply to premises if the court is satisfied that the premises are used solely for residential purposes.
Examples of Person Who is Not a Licensee Sell Liquor or Offer Liquor for Sale
  • A person who is selling alcoholic beverages from an esky to people in a park on a weekend over the busy summer months.
  • A sporting club selling alcohol in their club rooms after a game.
  • A sporting club does not sell alcohol but allows people to bring their own without having a BYO permit.
Elements of the offence
To Prosecution must prove:

  • That the accused was selling liquor or offering to sell liquor; and
  • The accused did not have a license to sell liquor.
The legislation for this offence can be found on section 107(1) of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.

Criminal defences that are used in response to this charge include factual dispute, concept of beyond reasonable doubt, impossibility, lack of intent, and possibly honest and reasonable mistake of belief.

Questions in cases like this
  • Are you or you business exempt from a liquor license?
  • Was there direct payment for the liquor?
  • Was it liquor?
Whether you should contest or plead guilty to this charge depends on a lot of factors that can best be assessed by a criminal lawyer. Contact one to discuss your case.

Maximum penalty for section 107(1) of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998
The offence of Person Who is Not a Licensee Sell Liquor or Offer Liquor for Sale (s107(1) of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998) carries a fine of 240 penalty units (around $38,685.60 at the time of print) or two years imprisonment as the highest possible sentence.

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