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First Degree Promoting Gambling: New York Penal Law 225.10

In New York State, promoting gambling is a class E felony and, although it is a victimless crime, it carries stiff penalties. As a felony, the stigma of a conviction may follow the individual around for the rest of his or her life, preventing the person from obtaining child custody or visitation rights and affecting the individual’s ability to get a job or an apartment. Taking a closer look at New York Penal Law 225.10 is helpful in understanding what it means to violate the gambling laws of the state.

New York Penal Law 225.10 at a Glance

The law prohibiting the promotion of gambling in New York comes with two subsections. The distinction has no affect on the crime’s status as a class E felony or the probable four year prison term that a conviction might mean for the defendant in such a case. The law requires that you “knowingly” promote or earn profits from illegal gambling. The conditions set out in this law allow for individuals who host the gambling event at their residence or property or arrange to advertise the event publicly. This is separate from the condition that you profit from the actual gambling, which means, by engaging in both activities, you may be charged with two or more counts of promoting gambling in the first degree.

Another condition of proving that you have violated New York Penal Law 225.10 is to show that you engaged in the practice of bookmaking. In doing so, you must have received bets over five bets from five different clients, exceeding $5,000 within a 24 hour period.

Conversely, the state can also make a case for promoting gambling in the first degree, if they can show you received profit or otherwise promoted illegal gambling in relation to any “lottery or policy scheme or enterprise”. This element of the law requires that you received money or records for the bet from an individual other than the player. Additionally, the requirement of receiving more than $5,000 in a single day still stands.

Defending Against First Degree Promoting Gambling Charges

Often, when an individual is charged with violating New York Penal Law 225.10, the district attorney will file other charges as well. While promoting gambling is a felony that carries a multi-year prison term, the district attorney may seek to maximize a win by tacking on additional charges. By filing charges of New York State Tax Crimes, Enterprise Corruption, and Money Laundering, the state can get multiple convictions and secure a much longer prison term against a single individual.

The number of charges and the degree of the crimes brought up against the defendant are dependent upon a number of factors. First, the amount of money involved in the criminal enterprise determines the severity of the charges. Additionally, the district attorney will likely try to prove that you were involved in a structured criminal enterprise (i.e. organized crime), so they can charge you with a class B penalty. Where the class E felony carries the 3 year term, a class B is much harsher, allowing judges to apply a 25 year prison sentence. As the least severe felony in New York State law, the state is very likely to attempt to raise the E felony classification in any way that they can. Seeking criminal collaborations may be enough to charge you with a class B felony.

Defending against promoting gambling charges, as well as more serious charges that may be added by the state, is often problematic. The most successful defenses revolve around the prosecution’s attempt to establish your role in the gambling enterprise. It’s vital to your defense to discover how they intend to prove you were involved in the gambling operation and disprove their case, based on that strategy.

The prosecution must prove you were directly responsible, so your lawyer may be able to cast reasonable doubt by establishing that you were not involved in that capacity. Doing so may require invalidating wire tap recordings and search warrants. Additionally, establishing enterprise corruption requires proving a distinct chain or structure with each individual sharing the same illicit objectives.

Depending on the exact circumstances of your case, your criminal defense attorney may have other plans for your defense. It’s important that your lawyer knows all of the circumstances of your case, so he can offer you your best alternatives and develop the strategy with the best options. While he may not be able to secure an acquittal in your case, the details of your case, may enable him to get you a deal with a reduced punishment. In some cases, the district attorney is willing to drop other charges, either as a courtesy for a confession or in exchange for testimony in another trial. Consulting with your lawyer will determine your own best course of action.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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