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Federal Defense Lawyer Explains Laws on Gambling

federal gambling offensesIn the United States, there are restrictions on gambling. While gambling is lawful under certain limited circumstances, violating the rules and engaging in illegal gambling could result in federal or state criminal charges.

It is important to understand federal laws on gambling, to comply with those laws, and to know what types of misconduct can result in criminal prosecution.

If you have been accused of wrongdoing, it is also important to know what prosecutors need to prove in order to secure conviction and how you can defend yourself from serious charges that could result in imprisonment or other consequences.

A federal criminal defense attorney at LV Criminal Defense can provide the representation necessary to respond when you’ve been accused of wrongdoing in connection with gambling. You could potentially fight to get charges dropped, could go to court and try for acquittal, or could have your attorney negotiate a plea agreement. We’ll help you to identify the best approach to take and will work with you to fight accusations of wrongdoing so you can protect your future.

Our firm has represented clients in Arizona, California, Utah, Oregon, Nevada and surrounding areas and can provide the help and support needed to reduce the likelihood of conviction or to limit the penalties you face. To find out more about how we can help you, give us a call today.

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Federal Laws On Gambling

Laws in the federal penal code that establish the types of gambling considered unlawful are found within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 50. A total of four different statutes are contained within Chapter 50, including a statute that establishes definitions applicable in other laws within this part of the penal code. The relevant statutes include:

  • 18 U.S. Code section 1081: Definitions: This statute defines the key terms that are used throughout the rest of 18 U.S. Code Chapter 50. These terms include gambling ship, gambling establishment, vessel, American vessel, and wire communication facility. For example, a gambling ship is defined to include a vessel that is principally used to operate one or more gambling establishments. It doesn’t include a vessel that offers gambling abroad beyond the territorial waters of the United States during a covered voyage.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1082: Gambling ships: According to 18 U.S. Code section 1082, it is unlawful for a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident, or other person on an American vessel or within the jurisdiction of the United States, to set up a gambling ship, to operate a gambling ship, or to hold interest in a gambling ship if the gambling ship is on the high seas or is an American vessel or a vessel otherwise under the jurisdiction of the United States. Unlawfully owning or operating a gambling ship can result in a fine as well as a period of imprisonment that lasts for a maximum of two years if a defendant is convicted of violating 18 U.S. Code section 1082. In addition to other penalties, the owners of an American vessel or vessel under U.S. jurisdiction who knowingly permit the use of that vessel as a gambling ship could be required to forfeit the vessel to the United States government.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1083: Transportation between shore and ship; penalties: This statute makes it unlawful to use a vessel, to operate a vessel, or to permit the use of a vessel to transport passengers between the United States and a carriage or transportation not within the jurisdiction of the United States that is being used as a gambling ship. However, this statute does not apply in circumstances where a vessel responds in an emergency to aid passengers. Penalties for using a vessel as transport to a gambling ship could include a civil fine of $300.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1084: Transmission of wagering information; penalties: Under this statute, it is made illegal to use a wire communication facility for transmission in interstate commerce of bets or wages in sporting contests or sporting events. It is also unlawful to use wire communication to assist in placing bets or wages. The penalty for violating the law could include a fine as well as imprisonment for up to two years or both. However, there are certain exceptions set forth, including for news reporting of sports events or contests or for placing wagers if betting on the sport is legal in the state where the incident takes place.

If you have been accused of violating gambling laws contained within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 50, you will need to understand the specific elements of the offense. A prosecutor must prove every element of a crime or you should be acquitted.

This means there are a number of ways you can introduce reasonable doubt as to whether you violated laws on gambling so you can try to secure a not guilty verdict. Having a good lawyer to help you understand the specific things a prosecutor has to prove and to assist with exploring defense strategies can be invaluable.

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Getting help from a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of breaking federal laws related to gambling or if you are facing any criminal charges in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas, LV Criminal Defense can provide the representation and support you need.

Our dedicated and experienced legal team knows the ins-and-outs of the federal penal code and we can help you to develop the best response to accusations of wrongdoing given the specifics of your charges and the nature of the evidence against you.

We can negotiate a plea deal on your behalf in appropriate circumstances to mitigate penalties you face or can help you to fight charges and maximize the chances of acquittal so you won’t have to face the consequences of being convicted of a federal offense. To find out more about how our firm can help you, give us a call today.

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