Robbery and theft can occur outside a casino or even on the casino floor. Casino security is tasked with preventing and reporting this kind of crime, and police are often involved quickly. If you were accused of holding someone up or taking something from them by force in an Atlantic City casino, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today for help with your charges.
The Atlantic City casino robbery lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych fight to get charges dropped and dismissed for robbery charges and other serious casino crimes. To schedule a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (609) 616-4956.
When Can You Be Charged with Robbery in a Casino in NJ?
Robbery is a serious crime. Robbery differs from simple theft offenses because it includes threats or violence on top of the standard theft offense. In an attempt to punish the violent aspects of this crime more seriously than simple theft offenses, robbery under N.J.S.A. § 2C:15-1 is punished as a second degree crime – the second highest level of criminal offense in New Jersey.
However, to be convicted of robbery, the prosecutor must prove that you committed each element of the offense. In many cases, what appears to be robbery or what might be charged as robbery in another state does not meet New Jersey’s definition of robbery, and the charges must be reduced.
Robbery in a casino can occur in a few different ways. Robbery requires the government to prove that you committed the crime through either bodily injury or force, threats of bodily injury, or threats of another first or second degree crime. The following are examples of how each of those types of robbery could be committed in a casino:
Bodily Injury or Force
A mugging is the most common example of robbery committed through physical injury. Physically attacking someone and taking their money, their chips, their wallet, or something else of value is the most common way robbery is committed with injury. Alternatively, the robbery could be committed through force, even if there is no injury. Forcibly reaching into someone’s pocket or purse, using force to pull an item out of their grasp, or forcing your way through a crowd are examples of this type of force. This can be charged to cover things like reaching over a table or counter to take money or chips from a dealer or another casino employee.
Threats of Violence
Taking chips or cash from someone else under a threat of violence is another way that robberies occur. If you used these threats to pressure someone into giving up their money, you can face robbery charges. Even if you did not actually harm anyone, the threat of force or injury is sufficient. Using a weapon or something that looks like a weapon can make these charges more serious.
Threats to Commit Another Crime
People often say things they do not mean when they are angry or intoxicated, but some empty threats may be enough to constitute robbery when combined with a theft. Threatening to do something to the victim, their family, or the building they are in could constitute sufficient threats to turn your theft into robbery. For instance, threatening to drag someone into a back room and harm them, threatening to burn down the building, or threatening other crimes to convince the victim to hand over their money or their chips could lead to robbery charges.
Penalties for Robbery in a Casino in AC
As mentioned, robbery is a second degree crime in New Jersey. This is the second highest level of crime and is on par with many serious offenses like rape. The penalties associated with this offense are considerable and include 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.
Under some circumstances, your offense can be upgraded to a first degree crime. This is the single highest level of crime in New Jersey and is on par with murder. The circumstances that justify increased charges include the following:
- Attempts to kill during the robbery
- Intentionally causing or attempting to cause “serious bodily injury”
- Being armed with a deadly weapon or threatening to use a deadly weapon
The term “serious bodily injury” has a specific definition in New Jersey and includes only injuries that are likely to cause death, “permanent disfigurement,” or “loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” Common injuries from punches or strikes would likely not rise to this level of injury.
If your crime is upgraded to a first degree crime, you could face 10-20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.
Work with Our Atlantic City Casino Robbery Lawyers
If you or a loved one was charged with robbery in an Atlantic City casino, talk to a lawyer immediately. The Law Offices of John J. Zarych’s Atlantic City casino robbery attorneys represent those charged with robbery and other serious offenses in a casino. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling criminal defense cases and may be able to represent you and fight the charges you face. For help with your case and to schedule a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (609) 616-4956.