Atlantic City is one of New Jersey’s most popular resort destinations with its ten casino-resorts and multiple live shows and activities. While the city is known for allowing people the chance to let loose and have a fun getaway, there is also a reason that it is sometimes referred to as “The Original Sin City”: there are plenty of chances to get into trouble with the law and turn a fun-filled vacation into a nightmare legal scenario.
Here at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, we have a team of experienced, compassionate attorneys ready to fight for you if your night at the casino goes wrong. Our criminal lawyers for people arrested at a casino hotel in Atlantic City have decades of experience representing the accused and fighting the charges against them. We pride ourselves on our committed, client-centric approach that focuses on getting the best possible disposition to your charges. For a free legal consultation on your case, call us today at (609) 616-4956.
Types of Criminal Charges at Casinos and Hotels in Atlantic City, NJ
Many arrests and casino hotels occur after someone has consumed too much alcohol, which is all too common in the casino environment, with bars and waitresses bringing free drinks to gamblers. Offenses charged against patrons at casinos and hotels in Atlantic City commonly include disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, underage drinking, and underage gambling.
Other charges might occur as a result of being accused of trying to cheat the casino out of money or stealing from hotel rooms or unattended bags. These offenses are often felonies and can carry hefty prison sentences and fines. Our attorneys understand that these cases are complex and that our clients are often the innocent victims of someone else’s scam.
Below, we explain some of the most common charges brought against people at Atlantic City’s casino-resorts and what penalties you might face if convicted. This is not an exhaustive list:
Disorderly conduct is somewhat of a catch-all charge. It is often used to charge individuals who get into public fights, but it can also be charged if you use inappropriate or “fighting” words intended to harass or annoy someone. If convicted of disorderly conduct, you could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine.
Underage drinking occurs when anyone under the age of 21 is found to have consumed alcohol. This could happen down on the casino floor with a fake ID or up in a hotel room. If convicted, you could face jail time of up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000.
Underage gambling occurs when anyone under the age of 21 gambles or enters the casino floor. If convicted, you can face jail time of up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000 plus a mandatory six-month suspension of your driver’s license.
Public fighting is sometimes charged with only a disorderly conduct citation, but other times the individual who is found to have started the fight might be charged with assault. This is a very serious offense, but the penalties vary depending on whether the assault is considered “aggravated assault” or “simple assault.”
If you are asked to leave the casino or the hotel, but you refuse or later return to the building, you can be charged with criminal trespass. If charged as a felony, you could face up to six months in jail. This crime can also be charged for entering restricted areas or entering into someone else’s hotel room without their permission.
Some casino theft charges can be filed for stealing someone else’s casino chips, cheating at one of the games, conducting a betting scam, or writing a bad check to the casino. If you try to bill services or meals to someone else’s hotel room, you could also be charged. Depending on the amount you are charged with stealing, you can face second, third, or fourth degree felony charges and up to 10 years in prison.
Penalties for Crimes Inside a Casino or Hotels in Atlantic City, NJ
While it may be tempting to think of “disorderly persons offenses” (misdemeanors) as being relatively minor, they can still bring with them severe long-term consequences. In addition to fines and potential jail time, a conviction for even the most minor disorderly persons offense will show up on a criminal record, which could prevent them from getting into college or grad school, getting licensed by a state agency, or gaining employment.
More serious charges are “indictable crimes” (felonies), which carry potential jail time of over a year, high fines, a permanent criminal record, and the label of “felon.”
Fighting Charges that Occurred Inside an Atlantic City Casino or Hotel
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you minimize the damage resulting from your charges. One way to do this is for our attorneys to request that the state deal with your issue through New Jersey’s Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, which is commonly used for casino and hotel crimes. However, use of the PTI program is entirely discretionary, and it is up to the prosecutor and the judge to decide which defendants should be offered this opportunity. Your eligibility may also be limited based on any past criminal record you have, so it is crucial to have a seasoned attorney look at the particulars of your case and argue on your behalf.
If accepted into PTI, you will have to complete an intensive program that may include alcohol or drug treatment, community service, supervision by the probation department, and other types of education. If you successfully complete PTI, your criminal record will be cleared of this offense.
In more serious cases where PTI is not a viable option, our attorneys have experience fighting cases in the courtroom. We will exhaustively investigate every angle of your case, from whether casino authorities properly handled the arrest to whether mitigating factors might justify reducing charges to something more minor.
The sooner you call our office and engage us in the process, the more effective we can be as an advocate for you. You are not required to wait until you are taken to the police station or “officially” charged with a crime to call one of our attorneys. Even if you are simply being accused of something by casino staff, our attorneys can get involved and help keep things from progressing further.
Call Our Lawyer for Criminal Charges at Casinos or Hotels in Atlantic City
Our criminal lawyers for people arrested at a casino hotel in Atlantic City understand that being charged with a crime can be scary and confusing. We are here to help you navigate the process and explain things to you in simple terms. If you are facing charges after an arrest at a casino hotel in Atlantic City, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today at (609) 616-4956 for a free consultation.