New York Penal Law § 225.15: Possession of gambling records in the second degree

Although gambling has become more widespread in recent years, many types of gambling still remain illegal in New York. Not only are many types of gambling activities illegal, merely possessing records related to such unlawful gambling is also illegal. Under New York Penal Law § 225.15 you could be charged with possession of gambling records in the second degree if you knowingly possess any paper, writing or article:

  1. Of a kind commonly used in the operation of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise;
  2. Of a kind commonly used in the operation of a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise;
  3. Of any paper in sheet form chemically converted to nitrocellulose having explosive characteristics, or
  4. Of any water soluble paper or paper derivative in sheet form.
Example

A police officer pulled over a car driven by Hal Smith due to an illegal lane change. The officer smelled alcohol on Smith. Smith was uncooperative when the officer asked him questions. Because of this the police officer asked Smith to step out his car. The officer then searched the car. The officer found a piece of paper which had some sports teams' names and numbers written on it, as well as $5800 in the car's armrest. In the trunk the officer found $85,500 along with a list of names with dollar amounts next to each name. Based on these findings, Smith was arrested and taken into custody on suspicion of possession of gambling records in the second degree in violation of New York Penal Law § 225.15.

Related Offenses
  1. Promoting of gambling in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 225.05
  2. Possession of a gambling device: New York Penal Law § 225.32
Defenses

A possible defense is coercion. For example, if you have gambling records because you have been forced to participate in a gambling enterprise in order to satisfy a gambling debt, then you would have a defense to a charge of possession of gambling records.

Sentence

Possession of gambling records in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. This means that if you are convicted your sentence could include a jail term of up to 1 year, a probation term of 3 years, and payment of a fine.

New York Penal Law § 225.15: Possession of gambling records in the second degree

A person is guilty of possession of gambling records in the second degree when, with knowledge of the contents or nature thereof, he possesses any writing, paper, instrument or article:

  1. Of a kind commonly used in the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise; or
  2. Of a kind commonly used in the operation, promotion or playing of a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise; except that in any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a defense that the writing, paper, instrument or article possessed by the defendant constituted, reflected or represented plays, bets or chances of the defendant himself in a number not exceeding ten.
  3. Of any paper or paper product in sheet form chemically converted to nitrocellulose having explosive characteristics.
  4. Of any water soluble paper or paper derivative in sheet form.
New York Possession of Gambling Records in the Second Degree Lawyer

Even though possession of gambling records in the second degree is a misdemeanor and not a felony, it is still a crime. If you are convicted you could end up in jail. It is important that you are represented by someone with experience to ensure that your rights are protected. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who are accused of various types of crimes including both felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of gambling crimes in the following locations:

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