Did you know that you could be arrested, prosecuted and sentenced for gambling in the State of Florida?

Our experienced Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert represent clients facing all types of criminal charges, including charges stemming from illegal gambling. Because we handle these types of cases all the times, we are thoroughly familiar with Chapter 849 of the Florida State Statutes, the section of our state’s legal code that deals with the crime of gambling and the associated penalties.

Subsection 849.08 of the Florida State Statutes deals with the basic crime of gambling. The subsection stipulates that whoever plays or engages in any game at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for money or other thing of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

So, according to s. 849.08, if you are at a friend’s house playing poker for money, and you are caught by law enforcement, you can be prosecuted with the crime of gambling, a second-degree misdemeanor. If you are convicted of the crime, you face up to but not more than 60 days in prison and/or a fine of up to but not more than $500. However, our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that actually running and/or assisting in the operation of a gambling house can lead to even more severe penalties.

As is specified by s. 849.01 of the Florida State Statutes, whoever by herself or himself, her or his servant, clerk or agent, or in any other manner has, keeps, exercises or maintains a gaming table or room, or gaming implements or apparatus, or house, booth, tent, shelter or other place for the purpose of gaming or gambling or in any place of which she or he may directly or indirectly have charge, control or management, either exclusively or with others, procures, suffers or permits any person to play for money or other valuable thing at any game whatever, whether heretofore prohibited or not, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

For instance, per s. 849.01, if someone runs an informal gambling room out of their basement, hosting neighbors who regularly play poker for money, such a person, the host and operator of the gambling room, is guilty of a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or $5,000 in fines.

At Leifert & Leifert, our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers, all former prosecutors, used to prosecute the very types of cases that we now defend; as such, we bring to the table an invaluable perspective, gained from decades of handling criminal cases both as prosecutors and later as criminal defense attorneys. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with gambling in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, call us to schedule a free consultation. You can reach us at 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).

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