Despite the increasing prevalence of gambling in recent times, numerous forms of gambling are still prohibited in New York. Notably, it is unlawful to simply have any records associated with such illegal gambling activities. According to New York Penal Law § 225.20, you may face charges for first-degree possession of gambling records if you knowingly possess any documents, writings, or materials that:
- Are typically employed in the operation of a bookmaking operation or enterprise that records more than five bets totaling over $5,000.
- Are typically used in the operation of a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise that documents more than 500 plays or opportunities.
First-degree possession of gambling records is a Class E felony. If you are found guilty, you could receive a sentence of up to 4 years in jail, 5 years on probation, and a fine.
Coercion could be used as a defense. For instance, you would have a defense to a charge of possession of gambling records if you had gambling records because you were compelled to partake in a gambling enterprise to pay off gambling debts.
The prosecutor must demonstrate that you knew you were in possession of the documents in order to establish your guilt of possession of gambling records in the first degree. You might have a strong defense against a charge of possession of gambling data if, for instance, the documents were discovered in your roommate’s bedroom rather than your own or any other communal areas of the apartment.
The prosecutor must also demonstrate that the amount of money and the number of bets placed meet the minimal requirements outlined in the statute in order for the defendant to be found guilty of first-degree possession of gambling records.
New York Penal Law § 225.20: Possession Of Gambling Records In The First Degree
An individual can be charged with first-degree possession of gambling records if they knowingly hold any written materials, documents, instruments, or items that fall into one of the following categories:
- Items typically used in the operation or advancement of a bookmaking scheme or venture, which signify or represent more than five bets amounting to over five thousand dollars.
- Items typically used in the operation, promotion, or participation in a lottery or policy scheme or venture, which signify or represent more than five hundred plays or chances within it.
- Promoting gambling in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 225.10
- Possession of a gambling device: New York Penal Law § 225.30
Hiring A New York Lawyer For Possession Of Gambling Records In The First Degree Case
When facing a first-degree possession of gambling records case in New York, hiring an experienced lawyer is paramount. These charges carry severe penalties, including significant fines and potential imprisonment. A skilled New York lawyer with expertise in gambling-related offenses can navigate the complexities of state law, build a robust defense strategy, and strive for the best possible outcome. They’ll examine evidence, challenge legality of searches or seizures, and negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges or dismissal if possible. With a knowledgeable attorney by your side, you increase your chances of mitigating the consequences and safeguarding your rights in this serious legal matter.