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Cash seizure from customers during a raid at local convenience / game room because they were told it was suspected of being used in a crime. Is that

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onedid

Member
We will need more information ...Thanks.
What info do you need . The police have been doing raids on these places for years now. They come in arrest the clerk & owner & give citations for class C misdemeanors to the customers and take every ones money. Some even get there car impounded.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
What info do you need . The police have been doing raids on these places for years now. They come in arrest the clerk & owner & give citations for class C misdemeanors to the customers and take every ones money. Some even get there car impounded.
If you are patronizing an establishment that is conducting illicit activity, then you are subject to arrest and your monies being seized.
 

onedid

Member
We are not familiar with this.

What are your specific charges.

If these are recurring events, in a particular sort of establishment I'd encourage you not to patronize them and certainly loiter there.
Every gas station and convenience store in Fort Worth and the rest of Texas has these Keno and poker machines. The cops will do a raid and take the machines but the owners get them back the next day. I just want to know if its legal for them to be taking every ones money. From what I am told you have to hire an attorney and most people cant afford that. Also they have every one scared of retaliation and they have gotten brutal.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Every gas station and convenience store in Fort Worth and the rest of Texas has these Keno and poker machines. The cops will do a raid and take the machines but the owners get them back the next day. I just want to know if its legal for them to be taking every ones money. From what I am told you have to hire an attorney and most people cant afford that. Also they have every one scared of retaliation and they have gotten brutal. ...
How exactly is the money being taken by the police? With what are the customers being charged (what is the Class C misdemeanor)?
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
What info do you need . The police have been doing raids on these places for years now. They come in arrest the clerk & owner & give citations for class C misdemeanors to the customers and take every ones money. Some even get there car impounded.
Let's start with this: Texas Penal Code (TPC) § 47.02 states:

Sec. 47.02. GAMBLING. (a) A person commits an offense if he:
(1) makes a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest;
(2) makes a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
(3) plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.

A violation of this section is a class C misdemeanor offense. A bet is defined in the law as "an agreement to win or lose something of value solely or partially by chance." TPC § 47.01(1). And a gambling device is defined as:

any electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical contrivance not excluded under Paragraph (B) that for a consideration affords the player an opportunity to obtain anything of value, the award of which is determined solely or partially by chance, even though accompanied by some skill, whether or not the prize is automatically paid by the contrivance. The term:
(A) includes, but is not limited to, gambling device versions of bingo, keno, blackjack, lottery, roulette, video poker, or similar electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical games, or facsimiles thereof, that operate by chance or partially so, that as a result of the play or operation of the game award credits or free games, and that record the number of free games or credits so awarded and the cancellation or removal of the free games or credits; and
(B) does not include any electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical contrivance designed, made, and adapted solely for bona fide amusement purposes if the contrivance rewards the player exclusively with noncash merchandise prizes, toys, or novelties, or a representation of value redeemable for those items, that have a wholesale value available from a single play of the game or device of not more than 10 times the amount charged to play the game or device once or $5, whichever is less.
TPC § 47.01(4). Thus if you are betting anything of value using a keno, video poker, slot machine, or any other machine in which your chance to win a prize is determined solely or partially by chance you are engaging in illegal gambling other than the exception for amusement devices that you see in paragraph (B). The persons who run the gaming rooms also commit an offense, a class A misdemeanor.

What this means is that if you are in a gaming room when the police come in and raid it, you may well get cited for illegal gambling and the owners and promoters of the gaming room are going to end up cited for their role in it, too.

As for the seizure of cash, I see two possibilities. One is that the cash is seized as evidence. The other is that cops seize thinking that they can do that under the state civil forfeiture law, although gambling offenses are not among the listed offenses that would allow for civil forfeiture. Either way, it may take suing the police or prosecutor to get the property back.
 
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onedid

Member
How exactly is the money being taken by the police? With what are the customers being charged (what is the Class C misdemeanor)?
They are charged with gambling . The police take the money from them when they search them. With the charge they can expect a fine of up to 500.00 and for it to be removed from there record after paying. This is a police state.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
They are charged with gambling . The police take the money from them when they search them. With the charge they can expect a fine of up to 500.00 and for it to be removed from there record after paying. This is a police state.
I'm sorry - did you have a legal question about a matter that you are actually involved in?
 

quincy

Senior Member
They are charged with gambling . The police take the money from them when they search them. With the charge they can expect a fine of up to 500.00 and for it to be removed from there record after paying. This is a police state.
The money seizure appears questionable even if the charge seems appropriate.

If you had money seized, you should speak to an attorney in your area. I know you are looking at the cost so you might try to get answers from the ACLU. Legal aid clinics generally will not assist in criminal matters but an aid clinic connected to a law school might provide direction.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
They are charged with gambling . The police take the money from them when they search them. With the charge they can expect a fine of up to 500.00 and for it to be removed from there record after paying. This is a police state.
No, it's not a police state. Most states prohibit gambling to one extent or another, and have done so for a long time. Your state legislature years ago decided to make gambling a crime, evidently reflecting the view of most Texans that gambling creates problems they'd rather not have in their state. As that law has been on the books for many years, it shouldn't come as a surprise to you if you get busted gambling while in a gaming room. So, knowing what the law is, the best thing to if you don't want that to happen is avoid places that offer gambling.

As for taking the money, if the police take it as evidence and return it to you when the case is over then there is probably nothing there to pursue. If, on the other hand, they are trying to keep the cash under civil forfeiture, that's a problem.
 

quincy

Senior Member
A "police state," as a note, is when the government controls the (legal) activities of citizens through the use of police or military force. This does not include police arrests of citizens who commit crimes or are suspected of violating laws. This does not include charging citizens with law violations.
 
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