First Degree Promoting Gambling: New York Penal Law 225.10

When one graduates, it is universally accepted as a good thing. Having said that, your criminal lawyer or New York gambling defense attorney will certainly tell you that should you “graduate” from a Second Degree Promoting Gambling investigation or arrest to a First Degree Promoting Grambling investigation, arrest or indictment, your predicament has gone from bad to worse. In fact, unlike New York Penal Law 225.05, Promoting Gambling in the First Degree, New York Penal Law 225.10, is a class “E” felony. Not only can a felony conviction result in the loss of many rights we all take for granted and derail certifications, licenses and legal status in the United States, but at the time of sentencing a judge can send a defendant to prison for four years even without any prior contact with the criminal justice system.

Understanding the Crime of First Degree Promoting Gambling: NY PL 225.10

New York Penal Law 225.10 has two distinct subsections. Irrespective of what subsection you may be accused of violating, as a preliminary matter you are guilty of First Degree Promoting Gambling when you knowingly advance or profit from an unlawful gambling activity. That is, if you materially assist in the gambling venture (maybe you house it or arrange to advertise, for example) or you pocket some money or otherwise profit from the unlawful gambling.

Assuming this initial element is satisfied, prosecutors or Assistant District Attorneys in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or any jurisdiction inside New York City or elsewhere in the State of New York must further prove beyond a reasonable doubt one of the following:

  1. You advanced or profited from an unlawful gambling activity by engaging in bookmaking to the extent that you received or accepted more than five (5) bets collectively in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) in any one day; or
  2. You advanced or profited from an unlawful gambling activity by receiving, in connection with a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise, (a) money or written records from a person other than a player whose chances or plays are represented by the money or records or (b) in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) in any given day of money played in the scheme or enterprise.
Collateral Crimes & Offenses Beyond Promoting Gambling

Although prosecutors on the state level – District Attorneys and the Attorney General – may target illegal and unlawful gambling rings, crews and groups both in New York, across the United States and even abroad by charging a gambling crime, its fairly typical that prosecutors flex their muscles by charging more serious offenses. Yes, Promoting Gambling in the First Degree is a “very real” felony that can land a first time offender in prison for many years, but associated crimes are often more problematic. These offense can include New York State Tax Crimes, Enterprise Corruption and Money Laundering. Depending on the amount of the illegal proceeds (coupled with other elements) or if prosecutors can establish there was a defined and structured criminal enterprise, an accused could easily face a “B” felony. In such a case, four years in prison pales in comparison to the potential of twenty five years in custody.

Your Defense to First Degree Gambling & Your Next Steps

Simply, there is no quick fix to an investigation, arrest or indictment for violating New York Penal Law 225.10 or the myriad of equally and more serious crimes you can face when accused of unlawful gambling activities. There are some limited statutory defenses, but those are often not applicable. Instead, you and your criminal defense attorney should examine what role prosecutors intend to prove you had in the gambling operation. How is it that they intend on proving your involvement and liability. Are you an accomplice or directly responsible? Are there search warrants and wire taps? If you are outside of New York, how is it that prosecutors can prove jurisdiction over your conduct? If charged with Enterprise Corruption, is there a true structure of the crew and did you share in the same criminal goal? These are merely a fraction of the questions and issues that you and your criminal defense attorney must address.

Identifying and implementing a defense to Promoting Gambling in the First Degree and associated crimes is not always easy, but a critically important early step in the defense process. Not doing so could be extremely costly to both your liberty and future. Protect yourself and let Crotty Saland PC’s New York criminal lawyers and former prosecutors’ experience, knowledge and advocacy work for you.

Contact the New York Promoting Gambling criminal defense lawyers and former New York prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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