Casinos are often criticized as a safe haven for vice and crime. While most residents and visitors see Atlantic City as a fun vacation spot or a place that you can win big money, others may remember Atlantic City as where they got arrested or thrown out of a casino. Getting arrested at a casino can come from a misunderstanding, an out of control night, or serious criminal activity. To learn more about some common ways you could be arrested or thrown out of a casino, listen to what the Atlantic City casino crime attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych have to say about these 5 casino crimes. If you or a loved one was arrested for committing a crime in an Atlantic City casino, call our law offices today to schedule a free legal consultation.
5 Ways People Get Arrested at Casinos
In New Jersey, many laws criminalize behavior that might occur in a casino. Some of these criminal laws are specifically targeted at casinos, whereas other laws target things that commonly occur around alcohol and money. The following are all examples of 5 of the most common ways people get arrested at casinos in AC.
1. Disorderly Conduct
There are no laws in New Jersey dealing with public intoxication or public drunkenness, but NJ disorderly conduct laws are commonly used to arrest people who are drunk and disorderly. Disorderly conduct crimes cover unruly behavior like starting a fight or being loud and disruptive in a public place.
This crime does not require that the defendant be drunk. In many cases, people in casinos commit disorderly conduct crimes after having a few too many drinks and getting belligerent with casino staff or other patrons. However, someone having a bad day or someone on a losing streak might also commit disorderly conduct, even if they are not drunk.
2. Drunk Driving
Another crime involving alcohol, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is often committed just outside casinos in Atlantic City. It is illegal to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or higher, but you can still be arrested for DWI with a BAC under that “legal limit.”
Many people leave the casino after drinking and gambling thinking they might be able to drive back to their hotel or get on the Atlantic City Expressway without any trouble. Police in New Jersey crack down on drunk driving, and you might not even make it out of the parking garage before being pulled over and charged with DWI in Atlantic City
3. Underage Gambling
People under the legal drinking age cannot legally enter a casino or gamble once inside. Of course, you can pass through a casino to get to a restaurant or hotel room, but gambling is strictly prohibited if you are under 21. Violating this law can lead to criminal charges for underage gambling.
In New Jersey, underage gambling carries a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $1,000. In addition, you can spend up to 6 months in jail, though this is uncommon. Underage gambling also comes with a mandatory 6-month driver’s license suspension, even though entering a casino often has nothing to do with driving. These penalties are therefore quite strict, and you should speak with an attorney if you or your child faces underage gambling charges in Atlantic City.
Casino theft in Atlantic City is commonly committed against the house or other patrons. Casinos often have dimly lit rooms with no windows, which makes it much easier for people to grab your wallet or an unattended purse or pile of chips without you noticing.
Drunk casino patrons or desperate individuals on a losing streak might think they can get away with a snatch and grab. People who try to steal chips from a table or the cage often do not even get to the door before casino security or police stop them.
Taking your own chips out of the casino is not usually theft. Many people, especially first-time gamblers, may wonder whether the casino owns the chips. The chips you win or exchange money for are yours to gamble with or leave with, and you may be able to bring them back another day as long as they are not expired. However, you may face questions if you try to turn in old chips, since casino staff may think they could be stolen.
Fights can break out over the smallest slights, especially when drinking or money is involved. In casinos, where people are often both drunk and spending money, fights could start over spilled drinks, mistakenly touching someone else’s chips, or other problems.
Striking someone else could be charged as disorderly conduct for starting a fight, but you might also face charges for simple assault. If the assault involves a weapon or serious bodily injury, it could be charged as aggravated assault.
Atlantic City Casino Crimes Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was arrested in an Atlantic City Casino, contact the Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing people charged with crimes in and around Atlantic City. To schedule a free legal consultation with our criminal attorneys, call us today at (609) 800-2942.