New Jersey Law sets forth several charges that fall under the umbrella of a gambling offense. Since this category of charges in the criminal code attempts to snuff out all aspects of illegal gambling, there is a broad range of penalties that can be triggered depending on the nature of the activity involved. Nonetheless, gambling related convictions, trigger the possibility of a state prison term in almost all cases, as well as a felony criminal record. Avoiding a conviction in New Jersey requires a strong legal defense, rooted in criminal procedure and case law. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our team or criminal trial attorneys have over 100 years of cumulative legal experience. Moreover, our team consists of former municipal and county prosecutors who have experience prosecuting criminal cases. Contact our one of our New Jersey Offices and speak with an attorney today. The initial is always provided free of charge.
Promoting Gambling Charges Under N.J.S.A. 2C:37-2
The first type of gambling offense in New Jersey is known as “Promoting Gambling”. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:37-2, this offense is typically geared towards “bookies” or those individuals place the bets with a “bookie”. The Promoting Gambling offense in New Jersey requires specific elements to be proven in order for an individual to be convicted and sentenced. These elements are the following:
1. That the defendant knowingly;
2. Accepted or received money or property;
3. Pursuant to an agreement with another person; and
4. Whereby he participates in the proceeds of gambling activity.
The State can also prove that the Defendant knowingly engaged in conduct which “materially aids any form of gambling activity”, including but not limited to, conduct aimed at creating a game, contest, or scheme, or the acquisition of premises, equipment, participants, or the arrangement of financial plan.
The grade of this crime will hinge on the conduct and the amount of money involved in the alleged incident. It is a crime of the third degree if the individual is engaged in bookmaking and receives more than five (5) bets totaling more than $1,000. It is also a crime of the third degree if the individual is engaged in a lottery operation and has received money or written records from a person other than the player. Lastly, it is a crime of the Third Degree if the individual is involved in a lottery operation and receives more than $100 of bets in any one day. It is a crime of the fourth degree if the individual is engaged in bookmaking and received three or more bets in any two week period. Any other violation of the Promoting Gambling statute which does not fulfill the required amount of money or transactions is a disorderly persons offense.
If convicted of promoting gambling in the third degree, the individual will face between three (3) and five (5) years of incarceration and a $35,000 fine. If convicted of promoting gambling in the fourth degree, the individual is exposed to eighteen (18) months in prison, and a fine of up to $25,000. Finally, if convicted of a disorderly persons offense for promoting gambling the individual could face up to six (6) months in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Possession of Gambling Records: N.J.S.A. 2C:37-3
The second gambling offense is known as “Possession of Gambling Records”, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:37-3. Under this offense a defendant could face up to five (5) years in prison if convicted. For the State to convict a defendant of this offense, they must demonstrate the following things beyond a reasonable doubt:
1. That the defendant knowingly;
2. Possessed; and
3. A writing, paper, instrument or article of a kind commonly used in the operation of a bookmaking scheme or lottery.
While New Jersey does not refer to crimes as felonies and misdemeanors, it does use a system in the same vein by categorizing crimes as either indictable or non-indictable. It is a crime of the third degree (similar to a felony) if a person possesses records that represent more than five (5) bets and those bets total more than $1,000 or if the records represent more than 100 bets or plays. In all other instances and circumstances not reaching that level, Possession of Gambling Records will be a disorderly persons offense (similar to a misdemeanor).
A conviction for Possession of Gambling Records in the third degree is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a $35,000 fine. A disorderly persons conviction for Possession of Gambling Records is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $20,000.
Our Newark NJ Criminal Attorneys are available now to provide further assistance at 973-710-1520.