Drinking and gambling often go hand in hand in Atlantic City. While that usually isn’t a problem for most patrons, some guest may get out of hand and drink a bit too much while hitting the casino floor. If your drunken behavior turns aggressive or disruptive, you could be escorted out of the casino and potentially arrested. However, these arrests usually come because of related actions, not because of the intoxication itself. The Atlantic City disorderly conduct defense lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych explain what charges could lead to arrest for intoxication in an Atlantic City casino. If you or a loved one was arrested in a casino, contact our law offices today to schedule a free consultation with our Atlantic City casino crimes lawyers.
Can You Face Charges in an AC Casino if You Are Publicly Inebriated?
New Jersey has many laws that can punish people who act out or become violent after having too much to drink, but it does not arrest people for being drunk. In fact, New Jersey does not have a public intoxication law, and it is not illegal to be drunk in public. However, New Jersey police will not let drunk people who could be a danger to themselves or others continue to walk the streets, and they may stop you as part of a wellness check or because of other disruptive behavior.
In many cases, people who are drunk might be overly loud or disruptive to those around them. This could include acts that could endanger others or full-blown violence and assault. In many cases, people who are publicly intoxicated end up facing charges for disorderly conduct or simple assault. Both of these crimes are disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly persons offenses carrying the potential of up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000 for disorderly persons offenses and $500 for petty disorderly persons offenses.
If you are drunk enough that you are bothering casino workers or other patrons, casino security may ask you to leave the premises. Since the casino is private property, their security agents have the right to ask you to leave the premises, especially if you are drunk and disrupting their business. If you listen to their requests and leave the casino, there may be no further issues. If you refuse, police may be called, and you could be arrested for trespassing.
Lastly, another common charge from intoxication in a casino is DWI. Driving while intoxicated is illegal throughout New Jersey, even in the short distance between casinos or hotels. Atlantic City police are on constant lookout for casino patrons who leave the casino drunk and get behind the wheel. DWI penalties in New Jersey can include jail time, license suspensions, high fines, and driver screening and education. Take a cab or book a room; never get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
While these are some of the common charges that result from public intoxication in a casino, they are not the only crimes you could face. Intoxicated individuals may get the idea to pull a fire alarm in a casino, commit a drug crime, or attempt to commit theft by taking cash or chips. All of these offenses can also lead to very serious criminal penalties.
Can I Fight Public Intoxication Charges in Atlantic City?
Any time you are arrested or charged with a crime, you have the right to challenge the charges. In many cases where you are charged with disorderly persons offenses, you may not be entitled to a trial by jury. Still, any charges that carry potential fines or jail time entitle you to have your case heard by a judge. This gives you the chance to fight the charges with the help of an Atlantic City criminal defense lawyer.
Prosecutors or police must prove that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt before they can convict you. This means, even for low-level offenses, the government must put on a trial and convince a neutral party that you are guilty. Fighting your case could mean getting charges dropped or dismissed and avoiding the penalties.
When fighting charges for public intoxication crimes, there are some common strategies your lawyer might use. First, some offenses, like disorderly conduct, require you to be in a “public place” when the crime is committed. A casino may qualify, but if you were arrested in a back room or security office, this might not apply. Similarly, DWI charges require you to drive on public roads. An arrest in a casino parking deck might not qualify, and our attorneys can fight these charges. We will also look for any instances of illegal search and seizure, coerced confessions, or violations of your Miranda rights.
Our Atlantic City Casino Intoxication Lawyers Offer Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was arrested for a crime you committed while drunk in a casino, our lawyers may be able to help. The Atlantic City intoxication defense lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych have decades of experience handling criminal defense cases in New Jersey and may be able to represent you on your case. To schedule a free legal consultation, call us today at (609) 616-4956.