Casinos are a place for excitement and energy, but sometimes this excitement can become too much. Many casino patrons get out of hand, especially if they have had too much to drink. This may not be enough to get you arrested, but it could cause casino security staff to intervene and potentially throw you out. If you physically resist or attack casino security or another staff member, you could be arrested and face potentially serious penalties.
If you were arrested for assault on a casino employee in Atlantic City, contact the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Our Atlantic City assault on a casino employee lawyers may be able to take your case and fight the charges against you, potentially helping you avoid jail terms and high fines. To schedule your free legal consultation, contact our law offices today at (609) 616-4956.
The Process after Being Arrested for Assaulting a Casino Employee
Typically, casinos will not tolerate any assaults on their staff or employees. This usually means that police will be called, and your case will be turned over to them for potential charges. The process of what happens next can take different forms, but it will usually mean being taken to jail, being booked for charges, and being ordered to appear in court to address your charges.
The police do not have to charge you with a crime. In some cases, despite complaints from the casino and their security team, police may decide not to arrest you and press charges. If you are arrested and charged, the prosecutor in your case may also decline to continue with the charges against you. Until that time, however, you will typically be arrested and booked for your alleged crime.
When you are arrested, police will search you to look for any weapons or items that could pose a danger to officer safety. When you are taken to the police station, they will also inventory any items or bags you have. If police find illegal weapons, drugs, or other evidence of a crime on you, they will typically charge you with the appropriate crimes at that time.
When you are booked, you will usually be released. In New Jersey, there is a presumption against having to post bail, and you will typically be released on your own recognizance (ROR) with an order to appear at your next court date. If there is a reason the police or court suspect you might leave the state or fail to appear, you will have to pay bail or post bond before they will release you.
When you appear at your court date, you will be informed of the charges against you and your right to counsel as part of your “arraignment.” Low-level assault may be tried quickly, giving you the opportunity to fight the charges with evidence and testimony. More serious charges for more severe injuries will be tried later, and you will be given a preliminary hearing in the meantime.
The Definition of Simple and Aggravated Assault in NJ
New Jersey has two assault offenses: simple assault and aggravated assault. Some states define assault and battery and other related offenses in very different ways, so it is important to understand the definition of these offenses specifically for New Jersey. If you face charges for these offenses, understanding the legal definition of the offense might help you understand whether or not these charges should apply and how your attorney might be able to defend against the government’s case.
The definition of assault covers three scenarios where you can be charged with a crime:
- Attempting to cause someone else injury
- Negligently causing injury to someone else with a deadly weapon
- Attempting to use “physical menace” to put someone else in fear of injury
Breaking down these definitions into more easily-understood terms, this means you can be charged with simple assault for doing any of these acts:
- If you intentionally try to hit someone – even if you miss – you can still be charged with assault. As long as you intended to hit them, even if you didn’t actually mean to hurt them, you can still face charges.
- Mishandling a deadly weapon like a firearm or knife can lead to injuries. If you hurt someone by mishandling a deadly weapon, even by accident, you could still face simple assault charges.
- “Physical menace” means using your size, your demeanor, or a physical display of anger or force to intimidate someone else. This can be considered assault even if you do not attempt to hit anyone and would include assault for cocking back a fist and threatening to hit someone or quickly moving toward them in an attempt to scare them.
Aggravated assault is a more serious offense and includes attacks on certain protected individuals, such as police, firefighters, EMTs, and other medical professionals, as well as teachers, school bus drivers, principals, and other school officials. Aggravated assault also includes charges for using a deadly weapon, causing severe injury, or strangling someone.
Penalties for Assaulting Casino Staff in NJ
Assault can be charged as one of two levels in New Jersey: simple assault and aggravated assault. Depending on the charges and the harm that you caused, you will face different penalties. If you are accused of causing more serious injuries, you could even be charged with crimes such as attempted murder, but this requires serious attempts to injure the victim.
Simple assault is charged whenever you injure another person “purposely, knowingly or recklessly.” This crime under N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(a) is a “disorderly persons offense.” Disorderly persons offenses are not technically “crimes,” though they still carry the potential of jail time and criminal fines. If you are convicted of simple assault, you can face up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000. If the simple assault occurs in a fight that both parties entered into, such as if the casino employee picked a fight or was also aggressive and attacked you, it is a “petty disorderly persons offense” instead. These charges carry a typical maximum of 30 days in jail and fines up to $500.
If the attack or injuries were more serious, the crime will be charged as aggravated assault under N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(b). This crime carries more severe penalties, since it is a fourth, third, or second degree crime carrying the following penalties:
- Fourth degree crimes: up to 18 months in prison and fines up to $10,000
- Third degree crimes: 3-5 years in prison and fines up to $15,000
- Second degree crimes: 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000
The level of crime charged will depend on the specific circumstances of the offense, including any of the following details:
- If the assault involved a deadly weapon
- If the assault was committed while fleeing police
- If you had an “extreme indifference to the value of human life”
- If you choked or strangled the victim
Defenses for Assault on Casio, Hotel Staff or Security
Many of these situations that lead to assault charges seem like mundane accidents or everyday occurrences that should not be charged as a crime. Fortunately, if you are charged with a crime for these instances of assault, the level of crime is likely low, and police or prosecutors may drop the case if there was no serious harm.
If there is a fight or a safety problem at a hotel that has a security team, that team may respond aggressively. These security guards are usually not police and are likely not authorized to grab you, assault you, or physically handle you unless they are actively acting in self-defense or defense of another. If the problem has ended, there is no reason for hotel security to “manhandle” you or physically push you around, and if they do so, you may be able to argue that any assaults you were accused of were self-defense.
Aside from these defenses, other options to reduce charges or “plea down” to a lesser offense may be available.
Contact Our Atlantic City Assault Lawyers for Charges of Assaulting a Casino Employee in NJ
If you were arrested in a casino in Atlantic City for assaulting a member of the casino’s staff, you could face serious charges. For a free legal consultation on your charges, contact the Law Offices of John J. Zarych’s Atlantic City assault on a casino employee defense lawyers today. Our law offices offer free consultations on criminal charges in Atlantic City. Call (609) 616-4956 today to schedule your free legal consultation.