Theft at a casino is a common problem in Atlantic City. Casino staff and security are often on the lookout for these kinds of issues, and they frequently report casino theft to the police. If you or a loved one was arrested for theft in a casino, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today.
Our attorneys represent people in their criminal cases and have decades of experience handling casino crimes and theft offenses. For help with your case, contact our attorneys today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. Call our law offices at (609) 616-4956 today.
What is “Casino Theft” in New Jersey?
A trip to an Atlantic City casino can involve drinking and making bad decisions. If people lose more money than they thought they would or if they get caught up in the excitement of a trip to a casino, they may end up taking things from others to try to recoup their losses or walk away with a profit. Taking anything owned by the casino or another patron can lead to theft charges in New Jersey.
In a casino, theft usually occurs when patrons take things that belong to the casino or things that belong to other patrons. Casino employees are trained in identifying and preventing theft, and casinos hire security staff to seek out and report crimes inside a casino, particularly theft. Many patrons, who may be somewhat intoxicated or spending time in dimly-lit rooms, might be especially vulnerable targets for theft. Taking wallets, purses, or unattended chips is a common way that people steal in a casino.
Any time you take things that do not belong to you with the intent to keep them, you commit a theft offense. Theft can be committed by simply taking something else, or the theft can occur through lies or threats. Depending on how the crime occurs, it could be charged under different theft statutes, such as laws against theft by deception or theft by extortion. Stealing by using force could be considered robbery, which has higher penalties.
Theft commonly occurs in casinos in some of the following ways:
- Stealing another player’s chips or tokens
- Cheating and betting scams
- Conning casino staff
- Pickpocketing or robbing other patrons
- Theft of unattended cash, wallets, or purses
If you are caught committing any of these offenses, you could be arrested, taken to jail, and charged with a crime. If this happens, you should speak to a casino theft attorney for help with your case.
Penalties for Casino Theft in NJ
Theft offenses are graded based on what was stolen and how it was stolen. The value of the stolen items is often the defining factor in the seriousness of casino theft, and the use of force or threats can upgrade the offense as well.
In New Jersey, theft crimes are upgraded for theft of firearms, vehicles, and other items. These items are unlikely to be found in a casino, so the value of the stolen cash, chips, or other items is likely the primary factor in grading your offense. Theft crimes are graded as follows for the following values:
- Theft of $75,000 or more is a second degree crime resulting in 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.
- Theft of over $500 but less than $75,000 is a third degree crime resulting in 3-5 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
- Theft of over $200 but less than $500 is a fourth degree crime resulting in up to 18 months in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Theft of $500 or less is a disorderly persons offense resulting in up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
Any theft involving extortion is automatically upgraded to a second degree crime. “Extortion” refers to threats of harm that do not amount to immediate threats, such as threats of future or potential harm.
Threats of immediate harm, use of violence, or use of force can upgrade a theft crime to robbery. Robbery is considered a violent crime and often carries harsher penalties. In New Jersey, robbery is a second degree crime carrying the potential of 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.
In any robbery case involving the use of a weapon, attempts to kill another, or “attempts to inflict serious bodily injury,” the crime is upgraded to a first degree crime with the potential of 10-20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.
Atlantic City Casino Theft Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
The Atlantic City casino crimes lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych represent people accused of theft and other crimes in Atlantic City casinos. If you or a loved one was accused or arrested for casino theft, contact our law offices today. Our lawyers offer free consultations to help you understand the charges against you and how your case can proceed. To schedule your free, confidential consultation today, call our law offices at (609) 616-4956.