The Licensing Act 2003 came into force on the 24th November 2005.
The new law changed everything about the system for licensing premises where alcohol is sold and / or entertainment provided.
There is now a duty on everyone working within licensed premises to comply with the licensing objectives. Those objectives are:
- The prevention of crime and disorder;
- Public safety;
- The prevention of public nuisance;
- The protection of children from harm.
There are two types of licences:
- A premises licence which allows the sale of alcohol and the provision of all different types of entertainment at the premises; and
- A personal licence which gives a person authority to sell alcohol themselves and to give permission to others to sell alcohol on their behalf.
Premises selling alcohol must have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS). This is the person in day to day control and who must also be a personal licence holder.
Many conditions can be placed on the licence by the licensing authorities.
The Law |The Offences | Licensing Solicitors
Sections 136 – 138 of the Licensing Act detail possible offences that can be prosecuted:
- Section 136 – it is an offence if a person carries on, attempts to carry on or knowingly allows to be carried on a licensable activity on or from any premises otherwise than under and in accordance with a premises licence, club premises certificate or valid temporary event notice.
- Section 137 – makes it an offence to expose for sale by retail in circumstances where the sale would be an unauthorised licensable activity;
- Section 138 – it is an offence to keep alcohol in one’s possession or under one’s control with the intention of selling it by retail or supplying it in circumstances where the sale or supply would be an unauthorised licensable activity.
The Law | The Defence | Licensing Solicitors
There is a defence of due diligence available to most of the offences i.e. that reasonable steps had been taken to avoid commission of the offence.
The Court Procedure | Licensing Law Solicitors
All of the offences are summary only, meaning that they can only be heard in a Magistrates Court.
The time limit for instituting proceedings is 12 months.
Offences can be committed by bodies corporate, partnerships and unincorporated associations and by individuals in those organisations if certain requirements are met.
The offences carry a period of imprisonment of six months and financial penalties.
Kangs Solicitors experience in Licensing Law Cases
We have represented numerous defendants charged with such licensing law offences and have a strong well-established track-record in this area of work.
One particular case was where a DPS was charged with a number of offences of carrying on unauthorised licensable activities by breaching the conditions of the premise’s licence.
The defendant attended a police interview under caution alone and certain admissions were made.
As the result of Kangs Solicitors being instructed, detailed representations were made to the Crown Prosecution Service which led to a number of the charges not being proceeded with.
At sentencing the defendant received an absolute discharge, a sentence which is very rarely passed by the Magistrates Court.
How can Kangs Solicitors help with Licensing Law Court Cases?
Should there be an allegation of the breach of licensing conditions the police may ask you to attend the police station for an interview under caution.
It is important to receive legal advice at this early stage in the proceedings in order that your legal rights are protected.
Should you be charged or receive a postal requisition to attend the Magistrates Court for offences committed, it is important that you contact solicitors immediately.
Kangs Solicitors will obtain the evidence and advise you in relation to plea, evidential issues, any possible defence that may be available to you and, if necessary, advise you in relation to possible sentencing.
We can represent you before the Magistrates Court.
Contact Us | Kangs Solicitors | Licensing Lawyers
We will provide you with effective and easy to understand advice and ensure that your case is in safe hands.