California Business & Professions Code Section 25658.2 BPC: Permitting Consumption Of Alcohol By Minor Children With Subsequent Vehicle Collision

1. Definition and Elements of the CrimePermitting Consumption Of Alcohol By Minor Children With Subsequent Vehicle Collision

In certain circumstances, a parent can be charged criminally for allowing his or her minor child to consume alcohol or drugs in the parent’s home. Under California Business and Professions Code Section 25658.2 BPC, permitting one’s minor child to consume alcohol or controlled substances in the home and then allowing the minor to drive is a misdemeanor offense, when there is a subsequent vehicle collision.

To prove up a violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 25658.2 BPC, a prosecutor must be able to establish the following elements:

  1. The defendant was a parent or guardian of a minor
  2. The defendant knowingly permitted his or her child or a minor in the company of the child or both to consume an alcoholic beverage or use a controlled substance
  3. The defendant allowed this consumption at his or her home
  4. As a result of the consumption, the minor child or other minor had a BAC of 0.05 percent or greater or was under the influence of a controlled substance.
  5. The defendant knowingly permitted the child or other minor to drive a vehicle after leaving the defendant’s home
  6. AND that child or minor caused a traffic collision while driving the vehicle.
2. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor – California Penal Code Section 272 PC
  2. Selling or Furnishing an Alcoholic Beverage to a Person Under 21 – California Business and Professions Code Section 25658(a) BPC
  3. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol – California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC
  4. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs – California Vehicle Code Section 23152(e) VC
3. Examples

A man allows his high school age son drink alcohol with his friends at the family home. The man does not purchase the alcohol, but is aware the minors are drinking and knowingly permits this activity to occur. After drinking with his friends one evening, the man’s son informs his father that he and his friends plan on driving to a nearby fast food restaurant. The man does not try to stop the boys from driving and, in fact, tells them to pick up an order for him. On the way back from the drive-through, the son crashes his car. His BAC is found to be 0.06 percent. In this scenario, the father could be charged criminally under California Business and Professions Code Section 25658.2 BPC.

4. Defenses to Permitting Consumption of Alcohol by Minor Children with Subsequent Vehicle Collision

In order to be convicted of this offense, the defendant must have knowingly permitted the minor child in question to both consume alcohol in the home and to then drive a motor vehicle. If either of these acts were done without the parent’s knowledge, he or she would not be criminally liable for this offense.

5. How Permitting Consumption of Alcohol by Minor Children with Subsequent Vehicle Collision Cases Are Defended

Charges under this Business and Professions Code section may be pursued after teenagers or other underage drinkers cause a serious vehicle collision and the parents of the driver are seen to be complicit in the underage driver’s intoxication.

The parent may be cited for this misdemeanor offense and would be expected to appear in court for his or her arraignment. If the case is unable to resolve, the matter would proceed to trial where a jury would be empaneled and ultimately charged with returning a guilty or not guilty verdict. A skilled criminal defense attorney will challenge each element of the offense and show why the parent should not be held criminally responsible for the actions of the underage drinker.

6. Penalties

A parent or legal guardian convicted of violating California Business and Professions Code Section 25658.2 BPC will be sentenced to a maximum year in jail or a $1,000 fine, as this is a misdemeanor offense.

7. Criminal Defense for Permitting Consumption of Alcohol by Minor Children with Subsequent Vehicle Collision Cases

If you have been charged with this crime, it is very important that you discuss your situation with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who possesses the skills and expertise required to effectively defend clients charged with this offense.

For more information about permitting consumption of alcohol by a minor child with a subsequent vehicle collision, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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