According to a report by the Sun Sentinel, a Broward man was recently arrested for posessing homemade liquor and the tools with which he allegedly produced (and intended to continue making) the moonshine.
Producing moonshine conjures images of the days of Prohibition, during which it was illegal to proaduce, sell, transport or import alcohol in and within the U.S. from 1920 through 1933. But, as our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know from experience, criminal cases arising from the illegal production of alcohol are quite common — even in, as the article puts it, “sophisticated South Florida.”
The issue of illegally producing alchol is a complicated one. You don’t need illegal substances to create illegal alcohol; unlike making pot brownies, for which you need to illegaly obtain marjiuana, you can make home-brewed alcohol with just a few, legal ingredients, including water, yeast and table sugar.
Florida State Statute 562.27 governs law enforcement officers’ ability and duty to seize the mechanisms intended for use in the production of illegal, alcholic beverages. (Chapter 562 overall deals with enfrocement of so-called “beverage laws.”) As noted in the Sun Sentinel article above, the Florida Department of Business & Professional regulations oversees the licensing of legitimate alcohol and tobacco-producing organizations. Meanwhile, in instances in which an individual has been arrested for producing or intending to produce illegal alcohol (or tobacco), the Florida Division of Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco can be resposible for filing the charges against the defendant.
The Broward man who was arrested in connection with the aforementioned offenses has been charged with possessing more than a gallon of illegal liquor and posession of a still (among other things), third-degree felony charges. If convicted of a third-degree felony in the State of Florida, as our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, you face up to 5 years in prison and/or $5,000 in fines. These are serious crimes with serious consequences — in terms of penalty, the Florida legislature considers the production of illegal alcohol to be as bad as illegally carrying a concealed firearm!
Beyond the state government’s safety reasons for regulating alcohol, the state has an interest in collecting taxes on the sale of liquor — taxes which, most certainly, an individual is not charging himself or herself when he or she produces liquor in the home.
Despite the ban on unlicensed, home-produced liquor, you are legally allowed, in Florida, to produce some forms of alcohol in your home. You can produce beer and/or wine, just so long as the output doesn’t exceed 200 gallons per year in a household of 2+ people, or 100 gallons per year in a single person residence.
Our law firm’s experience in defending charges of posession of moonshine is evidenced in the fact that one of our criminal defense lawyers, Brian Leifert, is currently representing an individual who was arrested by the same law enforcement officer that arrested the man in the above-mentioned article, for practically the same crime: posession of a pot still, used in the illegal production of alcohol.
If you have been arrested for or charged with posessing illegally-produced alcohol and/or any of the tools with which it is made, you need the experienced legal team at Leifert & Leifert on your side. To schedule a free consultation with our Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade County criminal defense attorneys, please call 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363). We look forward to assisting you!