Being accused of stealing at work can be stressful. Even though you may lose your job, you may still be able to beat the charges against you if the government cannot prove you committed the crime you are accused of committing. Casino dealers, pit bosses, and other employees who handle chips or cash are often watched very closely, and security protocols are in place to avoid occupational theft or embezzlement at a casino.
If you or a loved one was charged with theft while working as a casino employee, talk to an attorney today. Our Atlantic City defense lawyers for theft by a casino employee represent casino workers in their criminal cases and fight to get the charges you face dropped and dismissed. To schedule a free legal consultation today, contact our law offices at (609) 616-4956.
New Jersey Theft from a Casino
The crime of theft is quite straightforward: it is illegal to take something that belongs to someone else with the intent to keep it. If you are borrowing something or truly intend to return it, it may not rise to the level of a crime – but proving that you were only “borrowing it” is often difficult.
There are multiple theft crimes in New Jersey, with the primary difference between each one being how the crime is accomplished. Theft can be committed by simply taking and carrying away someone else’s property or money, by lying or deceiving someone into giving you the money, or by threatening or coercing someone into handing over the money. More severe offenses involving immediate threats may be charged as robbery, and breaking into or entering a secure area to take money or chips could be charged as burglary.
Penalties for Theft in Atlantic City
The basic theft offenses vary depending on what was stolen and the value of the stolen items. Some penalties are upgraded for stealing guns, vehicles, or other items – but most casino theft consists of taking money or chips from the casino. You could potentially be charged with stealing someone else’s credit card, so we will also discuss the penalties for stealing one of these “access devices.”
The lowest level of theft includes theft of less than $200. This is a disorderly persons offense punished by up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
The next level of theft includes theft of $200 or more, up to and including $500. This is a fourth degree crime punished by up to 18 months in jail and fines up to $10,000.
The second-highest level of theft includes a much broader list of reasons to have your charges increased. The monetary limit for this level covers any theft over $500 but less than $75,000. This level of crime also includes theft of an “access device,” which includes credit cards. This is a third degree crime punished by 3-5 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
The highest level of theft includes theft of $75,000 or more. This is unlikely to happen in many situations outside of high-level embezzlement or armed robbery, but a theft offense can also be upgraded to this level if it occurs through “extortion,” including threats of future violence or crime. This is a second degree crime punished by 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.
The fines for any theft offense can also be increased to cover the total value of what was stolen.
Penalties for Robbery and Burglary in an Atlantic City Casino
Robbery in New Jersey is theft involving violence, injury, force, or immediate threats. This is a second degree crime punished up 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000 under most circumstances. If the crime involves killing or attempted murder, it is upgraded to a first degree crime with 10-20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.
Burglary is typically a third degree crime covering any illegal entry to commit another crime, including theft. This is punished by 3-5 years in prison and fines up to $15,000. If the offense included threats of injury or use of a deadly weapon, it becomes a second degree crime.
Calculating the Value of Stolen Items for Theft Charges
To determine the value of what is stolen, prosecutors may have options regarding how they charge you. If you were charged with multiple instances of theft, the amounts should be calculated separately. This means that if you stole $150 on one day and $55 another day, these should be charged as 2 counts of a disorderly persons offense for theft of under $200 rather than 1 count of a fourth degree crime for theft of $200 or more, potentially resulting in a lower fine and jail time.
However, if the individual theft offenses were part of the same “scheme or course of conduct,” they may be aggregated and added together. This means that multiple instances of theft over the course of years of work could actually be charged as one high-level theft offense rather than multiple counts of low-level theft.
Property that is not cash is valued at its market value when calculating theft amounts. If you were accused of stealing chips or tokens, they will typically be charged as their face value rather than the cost of the plastic or metal.
Call Our Atlantic City Casino Theft from Work Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was arrested for stealing from a casino as an employee, call our attorneys today. The Atlantic City casino employee theft from work lawyers fight criminal charges on behalf of our clients, working to have charges dropped and dismissed. To schedule a free legal consultation, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today at (609) 616-4956.