Gambling and acts associated with gambling are very strictly controlled in the state of California. There are a number of laws designed to prosecute individuals who engage gambling, including California Penal Code Section 337a: Pool Selling / Bookmaking / Wagering.
PC 337a deals with a number of very specific acts that are considered criminal by the court system in California. You can go over all aspects of this section of the legal code with the Simmrin Law Group. You can also consider penalties for a conviction and options for legal defenses.
Criminal Acts Covered by PC 337a in California
PC 337a can be used to prosecute seven different activities that may be associated with gambling. Let’s go over each of these acts and their definitions:
PC 337a: Bookmaking
California defines bookmaking as the act of taking oral or written bets.
PC 337a: Pool Selling
Pool selling occurs if someone sells or distributes chances or shares from a betting pool.
PC 337a: Occupying Building or Structure to Record Bets
Individuals in California may face criminal charges for occupying any enclosed structure to record a bet. Specific items that can be used to record a bet must be found in the location for this charge to apply.
PC 337a: Receiving or Holding Property or Monies Wagered in Bets
The court system in California can utilize PC 337a charges to prosecute anyone who has money or property used in a bet on their person. Individuals must be aware that they are in possession of items or funds used in betting to face this charge.
PC 337a: Registering or Recording Bets
Any individual that intentionally and knowingly registers or records a bet in California can be charged under PC 337a.
PC 337a: Allowing Your Property to be Used for Bookmaking
Individuals can face PC 337a charges for allowing someone else to use property they own, rent, or occupy to carry out bookmaking or other actions associated with betting or pool selling.
PC 377a: Accepting or Placing Bets
In many cases, the court can use PC 337a to prosecute anyone who makes, accepts, or offers a bet in order to gamble. Individuals are sometimes excepted from this charge if they were participating in a friendly:
- Betting Pool
- Wagering Game
Criminal Penalties for a PC 337a Conviction in California
PC 337a can be prosecuted as an infraction, misdemeanor, or a felony in the state of California. Each of these charges can come with different penalties Additionally, the penalties for a PC 337a conviction can grow more severe if an individual is convicted more than once. Let’s go over all the penalties for this charge right here:
Infraction PC 337a Conviction
Individuals may be charged with an infraction if they are involved in gambling for under $2,500. An infraction charge can lead to fines of up to $250.
Misdemeanor PC 337a Conviction
Misdemeanor charges are generally always used for a PC 337a conviction involving more than $2,500. Subsequent charges may be penalized as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor convictions can lead to one year of jail time and a number of different fines, depending upon the number of convictions:
- 1st Misdemeanor Conviction: Up to $5,000
- 2nd Misdemeanor Conviction: Up to $10,000
- 3rd Misdemeanor Conviction: Up to $15,000
Felony PC 337a Conviction
Felony charges may be used if someone is convicted more than once for gambling acts involving at least $2,500. A felony conviction can lead to high fines and up to three years of time in prison.
Legal Defenses to PC 337a Charges in California
You do not have to simply accept PC 337a accusations. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you build a defense for these charges. Depending upon your situation, a legal professional may be able to show that:
You Didn’t Knowingly Violate PC 337a
Individuals in California should only be convicted under PC 337a if the prosecution can show without any doubt that they knowingly engaged in restricted activities. If there is not enough evidence to show that you engaged in pool selling, bookmaking, or wagering you could avoid a conviction.
You Were Forced to Violate PC 337a
You should not be convicted under PC 337a if you participating in pool selling, wagering, or bookmaking under duress. A lawyer may be able to show that you had no choice but to engage in this behavior, allowing you to beat these charges.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help Handling PC 337a Charges
Get professional help dealing with California Penal Code Section 337a: Pool Selling / Bookmaking / Wagering charges right now by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. You can reach our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles now to get a FREE case evaluation.
Call us at (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form to start getting legal advice now.