A conviction for setting up or promoting a lottery carries the possibility of a state prison sentence.
In order to convict the defendant of setting up or promoting a lottery, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
A lottery involves the payment of a price for the possibility of winning a prize, depending upon luck or chance. A person can “aid” a lottery by printing or writing lottery tickets, or by selling or offering them for sale, or by managing or conducting a lottery drawing.
Violating the illegal lottery statute can result in a maximum penalty of three years in state prison, which seems like a disproportionate penalty. In practice, defendants who are charged with administering unlawful lottery schemes usually do not face severe penalties. However, it’s important for defendants to take these charges seriously and to hire attorneys to represent them in court. It is also important, as always, for a defendant to consult with an attorney before deciding to speak to the police. While you may believe that you are not providing the police with harmful information, your statement could end up incriminating you at trial. Police sometimes believe that small store owners who hide lottery machines in their businesses are connected to more sophisticated criminal enterprises. Therefore, detectives who work for the criminal bureaus of local police departments may be interested in talking to you if you were found in possession of any type of lottery machine.
Middlesex County criminal defense Attorney Chris Spring has both prosecuted and defended lottery cases during his career and is available to meet with you to discuss your options. Call Attorney Spring today to schedule a free consultation regardless of whether you’ve been accused of filing a false police report or forgery.