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Los Angeles’ penal code isn’t the most readable thing in the world. In fact, the legalese you’ll often find when you dive into the legal code can often seem like a daunting task, especially when all you want to do is get a better handle on the letter of the law so you can understand possible charges that have been leveled against you and figure out how you’re going to defend against them. In this post we’re going to break down one of these charges, in this case the law regarding bookmaking, pool-selling, and wagering, and in the process we’re going to get a far better understanding of the law, possible penalties involved should you be charged with this crime, and defenses that you can use to avoid potentially damaging charges. With that said, let’s get started by figuring out which activities are covered and criminalized under this law.
According to the law, it’s illegal to engage in bookmaking, pool-selling, occupying some sort of building to record bets, receiving or holding money that’s being wagered in a bet, recording or else registering a bet, allowing a space that you own to be used for such purposes, or even placing or accepting a bet. By participating in any one of these individual aspects of the law constitutes a crime, even if you were doing this in an honest way. It’s not required for you to commit fraud–just taking part in one of these activities is enough. This could involve you making your living by taking bets on a horse race, or collecting bets for someone who’s engaged in dogfighting, or even renting out a commercial building to someone that you know is engaged in gambling. So now that we know what this charge is, let’s get into how the charge is punished as a crime.
Punishment for Bookmaking/Pool-Selling/Wagering
This crime is known as what’s called a wobbler charge. By that we mean that it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or as a felony. The prosecution is usually going to choose whether to pursue a misdemeanor or a felony based on your criminal history and the individual circumstance of the offense. Charged as a misdemeanor, this crime carries up to a one year sentence in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $5,000. When charged as a felony instead, this crime results in felony probation, sixteen months, two, or three years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $5,000. SO now that we know how this law can be punished, let’s look into some defenses that you can take advantage of.
Defenses for Bookmaking/Pool-Selling/Wagering
In terms of defenses for this charge, there are two basic defenses that can be used to help you avoid being charged with either the misdemeanor or felony version of this charge. To do that, you can either claim that you acted under duress, or that there isn’t enough evidence to convict you. Either way, there are definitely ways out of this should you be charged.
No matter what, we’ve got you covered.
So as you can see, there are plenty of ways that you can avoid taking on the often serious charge of bookmaking, pool-selling, or wagering. When you break down the often complicated legalese of the law down into easier to digest chunks, the whole thing becomes so much easier to understand. So if you’re facing legal troubles or think that you’ll be facing them in the future, go ahead and get in touch with us. You’ll be very glad you did.