First Degree Possession of Gambling Records: New York Penal Law § 225.20

by ECL Writer
New York Gambling Crime Frequently Asked Questions

Gambling is a popular form of entertainment that has been around for centuries. However, the practice of illegal gambling is a serious offense in the state of New York. To combat illegal gambling activities, the state has enacted a series of laws, including NY Penal Law § 225.20, which criminalizes first degree possession of gambling records. This law aims to target those who engage in the business of illegal gambling by possessing records that are used to facilitate such activities. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will take an in-depth look at NY Penal Law § 225.20, including its definition, penalties, and possible legal defenses. Whether you are a gambler, a business owner, or simply interested in understanding the nuances of New York gambling law, this article will provide you with valuable insights and information.

First Degree Possession of Gambling Records is a felony that carries the same and greater force as its sister crimes, Promoting Gambling in the First Degree (New York Penal Law 225.10) and Promoting Gambling in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 225.05), which are crimes that many criminal lawyers and gambling defense attorneys in New York see connected to and tied to.

In actuality, a conviction for New York Penal Law 225.20 carries a term of up to four years in a New York State prison whether you are caught in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Yonkers, White Plains, or any other municipality in New York City or beyond. To be quite clear, the law does not care if you have a criminal history when determining your maximum exposure.

New York Penal Law § 225.20: First Degree Possession of Gambling Records

When you have knowledge of the information on a piece of paper, writing, instrument, or other objects that you are in possession of and that paper, writing, writing, etc.:

  • Is of a kind that is commonly used in the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise it represents (or constitutes) more than five bets totaling more than $5,000.00 (note the bet amount and dollar amount is comparable to First Degree Promoting Gambling); or
  • It is of a kind commonly used in the operation, promotion or playing of a lottery and representing, constituting or reflecting more than 500 plays.

Penalties To Frirst Degree Possession Of Gambling Records

If you are arrested or found guilty of first-degree possession of gambling records, you run the very real risk of going to prison. The worries and challenges persist whether you are committing a gambling felony in New York as the principal, an accomplice, or both. In addition to the many offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences or sentences of up to 25 years in jail, professional licenses (as an attorney, physician, educator, or employee of a financial services company) may be jeopardized. The possibility of losing one’s license is high, even if it is only suspended. Simply put, there are serious consequences for violating New York Penal Law 225.20 and similar laws outside of court.

Defenses To Frirst Degree Possession Of Gambling Records

First-degree possession of gambling records is a serious offense in the state of New York, punishable by imprisonment and fines. However, there are several defenses that a person charged with this crime can raise in court. In this article, we will explore some of the possible defenses to first-degree possession of gambling records under NY Penal Law § 225.20.

  • Lack of Knowledge: One of the key elements of the offense of first-degree possession of gambling records is that the defendant must have known that they were in possession of records used in illegal gambling activities. Therefore, if a person did not have knowledge that the records in their possession were used for illegal gambling, they may be able to argue that they lacked the necessary intent to commit the crime.
  • No Control Over Records: Another possible defense is that the defendant did not have control over the records in question. For example, if the records were found in a shared space or were left behind by someone else, the defendant may be able to argue that they did not have exclusive possession or control over the records.
  • Illegal Search and Seizure: The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. If the police conducted an illegal search or seizure of the records in question, any evidence obtained as a result may be suppressed in court.
  • Lawful Business Purpose: If the defendant can demonstrate that they possessed the gambling records for a lawful business purpose, such as record-keeping for a legal gambling establishment, they may be able to argue that they did not have the intent to use the records for illegal gambling activities.
  • Entrapment: In some cases, law enforcement may use entrapment to induce someone to possess gambling records for illegal activities. If the defendant can demonstrate that they were induced by law enforcement to commit the crime, they may be able to argue that they were entrapped.

Talk To A Lawyer

While first-degree possession of gambling records is a serious offense in New York, there are several legal defenses that a defendant can raise in court. It is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand the full range of legal options available in your case.

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