It is a criminal offense in Washington to furnish, or give, alcohol to a minor. The crime is a serious misdemeanor that can leave you serving a county jail term of one year. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you or a loved one is facing any type of alcohol-related charge, such as driving under the influence

What is Furnishing Liquor to a Minor Under Washington Law?

RCW 66.44.270 is the Washington statute that sets forth the law on giving alcohol to a minor. According to this law, you commit a crime if you:

  1. Sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of 21, or
  2. Allow any person under the age of 21 to consume liquor on your premises or any premises under your control.

For purposes of this law, “premises” includes:

  • Real property,
  • Houses,
  • Buildings,
  • Other structures,
  • Motor vehicles, and
  • Watercraft.

What are the Penalties?

Furnishing alcohol to a minor is a gross misdemeanor under Washington law. The crime is punishable by:

  • Custody in county jail for up to one year, and/or
  • A fine of up to $5,000.

Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?

Yes. You have the right to challenge a furnishing alcohol to a minor charge with a legal defense. A solid defense is to show that you are exempt under the law. RCW 66.44.270 specifically states that you are innocent under this law if:

  • You give alcohol to a son or daughter under 21 and the person consumes the alcohol in your presence,
  • You furnish alcohol to a minor for medicinal purposes, or
  • You give alcohol to someone under 21 in connection with religious services.

Your criminal defense attorney can also try to contest a charge by showing that the police somehow violated your rights, maybe by:

  • Arresting you without probable cause,
  • Conducting an unlawful search and seizure, or
  • Coercing a confession.

If any of the above, then your Washington defense lawyer can likely persuade a judge to reduce your charges or drop them altogether.

Contact Black & Askerov for Help

While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a furnishing alcohol to a minor charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on various misdemeanor charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!

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