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Can a Felon Get a Liquor License in Minnesota?

Depending on the circumstances, a convicted felon could get a liquor license under Minnesota law. However, there are a series of requirements every applicant must abide by. One of those requirements is to not have a felony conviction on your record in the past five years. While individuals who have not been convicted of a felony in the past five years have a chance at a license, success is never guaranteed. Asking can a felon get a liquor license in Minnesota yields a complicated response.

If you are facing criminal charges for a felony offense, losing your opportunity to obtain a liquor license is only one of the consequences you might face. Many of these consequences could follow you forever. To fight back against a criminal charge in Minnesota, speak with the attorneys of Gerald Miller today.

Qualifications for a Liquor License in Minnesota

In Minnesota, the qualifications for obtaining a liquor license are governed by Minnesota Statutes Section 340A.301. According to the statute, a person is only eligible to receive a liquor license if they meet each of the following conditions:

  1. is of good moral character and repute;
  2. is 21 years of age or older;
  3. 3. has not had a license issued under this chapter revoked within five years of the date of license application, or to any person who at the time of the violation owns any interest, whether as a holder of more than five percent of the capital stock of a corporation licensee, as a partner or otherwise, in the premises or in the business conducted thereon, or to a corporation, partnership, association, enterprise, business, or firm in which any such person is in any manner interested; and
  4. has not been convicted within five years of the date of license application of a felony, or of a willful violation of a federal or state law, or local ordinance governing the manufacture, sale, distribution, or possession for sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages. The Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division may require that fingerprints be taken and may forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for purposes of a criminal history check.
  5. In other words, no person with a felony conviction in the five years prior to the application date is eligible for consideration. While this might seem strict, it is a looser standard compared to just a few years ago. Previously, the law barred felons from ever obtaining a liquor license. While this change is welcome news for anyone convicted of a felony, it is still a steep challenge to obtain these licenses.

Challenges Facing Felons

It is important to remember that meeting these qualifications is only the first step. It does not guarantee that a license will be granted. The decision to grant a license or not falls to the commissioner of public safety.

Even if a person has not been convicted of a felony in the previous five years, their criminal history could still come into play during the application process. That is thanks to the first prong discussed above requiring the applicant to be of good moral character or repute. This requirement is open-ended on purpose, giving the government discretion on who they deny liquor licenses to. This means a convicted felon might not be able to obtain a license even after the five years has expired.

Other Collateral Consequences

Missing out on a liquor license is only one of the potential collateral consequences that come with a felony conviction. A collateral consequence is one that does not stem directly from violated statute in question. Other collateral consequences that can follow a felony conviction include:

• Loss of your gun rights
• Loss of your voting rights
• Loss of your professional license
• Difficulty obtaining employment
• Immigration consequences
• Child custody consequences
• Difficulty obtaining suitable housing

Speak with an Attorney About Your Case

The consequences of a felony conviction go for beyond trouble obtaining a liquor license. While some of these consequences can be dealt with over time, many last forever. That is why if your’re asking can a felon get a liquor license in Minnesota, it is vital you fight back when facing felony charges. By prevailing at trial, you could avoid a conviction as well as the challenges that come with it. To learn more about your defense options, schedule your free consultation with the attorneys of Gerald Miller today.

About the author

Gerald Miller

Gerald Miller is a top-notch and experienced DWI/DUI lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. in Minneapolis, MN. He has more than 35 years of experience in Criminal Defense practice. He has also been a mentor to numerous DUI/DWI defense attorneys.

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