Prohibited Actions by a Minor
The laws surrounding child labor are relatively strict in Texas. And while the TWC has enumerated the various jobs in which a child cannot perform, there are bound to be loopholes. One such loophole patched in 2005 is statute 106.15. Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code 106.15 makes it illegal for a business owner or employer to pay or otherwise provide compensation for a minor to dance with another person.
Attorney for Prohibited Actions by a Minor
Child labor laws are complex, but the Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski is ready to provide full-service legal representation to any business owner who has been charged with violating TABC 106.15.
The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown but accepts clients throughout Texas including Travis County, Williamson County, Bell County, Bastrop County, Burnett County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Blanco County, Lee County, Milam County, Hays County, and Caldwell County. Your first consultation is free, so call 512-960-4646 today.
- Understanding Prohibited Actions by a Minor
- Penalties for violating TABC 106.15
- Common Defenses for Probited Actions by a Minor
- Additional Resources
Texas Statute 106.15 explained
Texas Alcohol Beverage Code 106.15, while vaguely named, exists primarily to make illegal the exploitation of minors by stopping business owners from paying minors to dance with another person.
The concern is that bar owners may offer ‘extra services’ by allowing customers to pay to dance with their workers. The dance does not have to be sexual in nature to qualify under TABC 106.15, though it is the intent of the lawmakers to discourage such practices.
Violating this law is a Class A misdemeanor, due to the generally sexual nature of the crime and the age of the affected party.
Exceptions to Statute 106.15
This law does not apply to gifts or other benefits given for a dance at a wedding, anniversary, quinceanera or some other celebration.
Alternately, the business owner cannot be charged with prohibited actions by a minor if the younger person falsely represented their age by displaying an “apparently valid” Texas driver’s license or ID card.
Generally, the penalties for violating statute 106.15 focus on the business owner’s ability to carry an alcohol permit. Every violation is a Class A misdemeanor, and each repeated offense carries with it the penalty for repeated class A misdemeanors.
The penalty for violating the statute enhances with each repeated violation:
- Suspension of 5 days the alcohol license or permit of the offending party
- Suspension of 60 days the alcohol license or permit of the offending party
- Cancellation of the alcohol license or permit of the offending party. Someone convicted of prohibited actions by a minor three times would be required to reapply for an alcohol license after it has been canceled.
In addition to the above penalties, each violation of TABC 106.15 is a class A misdemeanor and carries with it the following penalties:
- A fine not to exceed $4,000
- Confinement in jail for up to 1 year
- Both a fine and confinement
Every repeat offense adds the cumulative number of penalties based on the amount of offenses. Therefore, a person convicted twice of violating TABC 106.15 could face fines up to $8,000, 2 years in jail, or both, and so on.
One defense strategy a lawyer could employ is that the business owner was provided falsified documentation including, but not limited to, a well-made fake ID and/or Texas State ID card. This defense relies on the juvenile appearing to be of age, that the falsified documents would fool the average person, and that the physical resemblance on the ID card is similar to the juvenile.
Alternatively, the defendant could challenge the claim that a benefit was provided for the dance or that the dance never took place. These are evidentiary claims and rely on disputing or emphasizing a lack of evidence.
TWC – This Texas Workforce Commission report provides an overview of child labor laws in Texas. The report includes general definitions, exemptions, and a list of prohibited occupations for age groups from 14 to 17.
Hire a prohibited actions by a minor lawyer in Travis County, Texas
Jackson F. Gorski has experience in handling alcohol cases and is ready to defend you or your child against all manner of underage drinking claims. The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown but accepts clients throughout Texas including Travis County, Williamson County, Bell County, Bastrop County, Burnett County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Blanco County, Lee County, Milam County, Hays County, and Caldwell County. Your first consultation is free, so call 512-960-4646 today.