Illegal Bookmaking In Florida
Gambling, slot machines, and other chance games are illegal in Florida. Even seemingly innocent actions such as hosting regular poker games at your home can result in severe penalties. Likewise, there are laws governing bookmaking that are important to understand so you don’t face charges for something you believed to be an innocent activity.
If you’ve been charged with bookmaking in Florida, we want you to know that The Umansky Law Firm is definitely someplace you can turn for help.
What is Bookmaking?
A bookmaker, also known as a bookie or a turf accountant, is an individual involved in illegal betting. The bookmaker collects, records, and tracks bets on specific activities. A bookmaker’s books are essential to their operation because they determine who owes money and who should receive money.
For a person to be charged with Bookmaking, the prosecutor must be able to prove they were taking bets and were engaged in the business of gambling. Prosecutors will also work to gain evidence that the person was taking advantage of betting odds, collecting $500 per day ($1,500 per week) in bets, and taking bets on both sides of the contest. If proven, these points will help a prosecutor take the case to trial.
What are the Penalties for Bookmaking in Florida?
Bookmaking is considered a third-degree felony offense and is subject to severe penalties in Florida. The most common penalties for bookmaking include:
- Up to 5 years in prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines
Punishments for a crime become more severe if a person is a repeat offender. Those who face charges for bookmaking a second or third time are charged with a second-degree felony and face increased penalties including:
- Up to 15 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
The penalties are similar for individuals charged with bookmaking in a pari-mutuel facility. That means it’s illegal to take bets or wagers in a place that’s licensed for betting. Examples include horse tracks and dog tracks. Furthermore, anyone who faces charges for bookmaking in a pari-mutuel facility is not allowed to attend a race track for up to two years afterward.
How Can I Defend My Bookmaking Charges?
Bookmaking is a defendable charge if your attorneys are provided with all of the pertinent information surrounding your case. Common defense strategies for bookmaking include:
- Lack of evidence
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Mistaken identity
The best way to develop a defense strategy that will stand up in court is to sit down with a trusted attorney and discuss your circumstances. The best defense attorneys will make a concentrated effort to understand you and what you’re facing before they suggest a defense strategy.
When you’re searching for a lawyer to defend you, it’s important to ask them about the process they use to develop a viable defense strategy for their clients.
Hire a Competent and Trusted Orlando Defense Attorney
If you’re currently facing charges for bookmaking, the best thing you can do is contact a trusted criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In and around Orlando, the most trusted source of criminal defense is The Umansky Law Firm.
At The Umansky Law Firm, our legal team has experience representing a myriad of criminal defense cases. Our lawyers have been recognized as Legal Elite attorneys by Florida Trend magazine, and have a proven compassionate approach that puts your future first. Contact our office today at (407) 890-0336 for a free case evaluation and to get started on your road to a second chance as soon as possible.