Michigan’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion Law and Defending Against Criminal Trespass Charges

If you face charges because you entered a Michigan casino after voluntary self-exclusion, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend and protect you.

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Overview of Michigan’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion Law

Michigan’s voluntary self-exclusion program offers individuals who recognize they have a gambling problem a proactive way to prevent harm by voluntarily banning themselves from entering casinos. Once enrolled, participants are effectively barred from all participating casinos and gaming establishments in the state, and their names are placed on a restricted list accessed by casino security. For the reasons stated below, it is essential to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer defending someone who faces casino trespassing charges for entering a casino after voluntary self-exclusion. 

The Purpose of the Law

The primary purpose of this program is to provide support to individuals struggling with gambling addiction, helping them avoid environments that trigger compulsive behavior. It is part of a broader strategy to promote responsible gambling and provide recourse for those who wish to take definitive action to curb their habits.

The Hidden Dangers of Criminalizing Self-Excluded Gamblers: The Impact of Trespassing Charges

Convicting individuals of misdemeanor trespassing who suffer from gambling addiction after they have voluntarily self-excluded themselves from casinos can have direct consequences such as probation, jail, and fines, and several significant downsides, dangers, and disadvantages:

  • Exacerbation of Addiction: Criminalizing the behavior of individuals who are already struggling with addiction can worsen their mental health and potentially lead to an increase in their compulsive gambling behavior.
  • Barrier to Recovery: Legal consequences may discourage individuals from enrolling in voluntary self-exclusion programs, knowing that failure to adhere could result in criminal charges.
  • Overcrowded Legal System: Prosecuting these cases can add unnecessary burdens to the criminal justice system, diverting resources from more severe criminal matters.
  • Economic Impact: Convictions can result in fines and legal fees, which can worsen the financial situation of individuals already struggling with the economic impacts of gambling addiction.
  • Increased Recidivism: Rather than helping individuals overcome their addiction, criminal penalties might lead to a cycle of re-offense and repeated legal issues, without addressing the underlying addiction.
  • Lack of Support Services: The criminal justice system is not typically equipped to provide the necessary support services and treatment for addiction, meaning individuals might not receive the help they need to recover.
  • Employment and Housing Challenges: A criminal record can create significant barriers to employment and housing, further destabilizing the lives of individuals attempting to manage their addiction.

Why Individuals Choose to Self-Exclude

Participants typically choose self-exclusion as a preventative measure after acknowledging the destructive impact of gambling on their personal, professional, and financial lives. By self-excluding, they take a legally binding step to prevent entry into gaming areas, which helps to limit opportunities for impulsive behavior and avoid future casino trespassing charges.

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William Pearl
William Pearl
2024-04-18
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Mike Trevino
Mike Trevino
2024-03-26
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Loren was quick and professional in assiting me. He got an un-prosecuted arrest off of my criminal record in only a few weeks.
A S
A S
2024-02-02
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Loren made me feel extremely comfortable in a situation that has been one of the most serious of my life. The comfort didn't come from coddling, or selling false hope, and it definitely didn't come from empty promises. He is very proactive, very dependable and really upfront. The initial contact was when I called the 24hr office line, after business hours. I received a call, the following morning from Loren. I expected it to be a representative and was working. I was already nervous about my situation, but the fact that he "checked in", was a huge deal. He asked preliminary info like my court date and offense(s). My court date was way down the line, and I had 2 months to figure out representation and finance stuff. We followed up again, when he called a couple weeks later, but he let me know that I could contact him when my funds were ok. He let me know, that even though I was calling a month ahead of time, that if I didn't get the retainer funds until the week before, that the team was experienced and prepared. (*Fast forward tidbit**, I Called 6 firms in 10/2023.. *Mr. Dickstein and I have already been to court 3 times and received my sentence, and 2 of the 5 originally contacted lawyers, haven't even responded.) I gathered the funds and called back. He offered the interview flexibility between in-person and on the phone. For everything I've been through about this case, I opted to meet. The meeting was not very long, but factual and informational. When I would mumble nervously or jabber (a slight goofy thing about me..), he pointedly and calmly redirected to the facts and realities. I knew he was listening, but I was just at a shameful point in my life. It's a big deal, when you're reassured with FACTS and potential outcomes. I couldn't have hired better representation. Mr. Dickstein's appearance is professional and his eloquence is everything. He has a seriousness and class about him, which communicates comfortably in court. The judge will give you your 15 seconds, but might give your defense team, 3 minutes. When I say, that Loren made the MOST out of those 3 minutes?!.. Wow!. (We had three appearances, and he was early for every one. We always sat in the front row, which is best. Anyone in this situation, shouldn't be bumbling from the back, or stepping over people, while preparing to go before judgement.) He started with FACTS, mixed with some meaningful biography. He said everything positive and helpful about me, within the opening. Because my offense was so aggregious, the judge interrupted him. But then, my whole lawyer, didn't fumble and continued with other recommendations (a little more for me, but not at all what I could have been facing). He made sure to have a response to meet the judges discomfort/dismay. I never realized how fast, counsel has to speak to respond and present to the judge. As a side note, I've seen cases where lawyers fumble and stutter and shuffle pages, but I have never been more amazed than when I noticed that being ON POINT, was another one of his strengths. The fact that he remains organized and has already absorbed his clients backstory, while having the knowledge to speak quickly and CLEARLY to a judge, means everything. *Again, the lawyers communication means EVERYTHING. Judges hear tons of cases, and recognize excuses immediately. Loren made sure that I presented the best summary for my case. He summarized my main points, and balanced with what the judge wanted and needed to hear. My case was difficult for my family and livelihood. Loren secured the most favorable outcome we could have hoped for. I would recommend him to anyone trying to save their job, or life, or livelihood.
rlalko l
rlalko l
2024-01-26
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Robert J. Andretz, was my attorney in the Livingston County Courts. I hired him after I was not pleased with results of another lawyer. Mr. Andretz was able inform me of what to expect and guide me through the process. He welcomed me texting him with any questions or concerns I had, and was quick to respond, unless he was in court. My situation was all new for me and I was nervous. I am glad that I went with another attorney, Robert J. Andretz.--This was a self-defense case, and he would go back and forth with the courts to work on the best option.
india
india
2024-01-25
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santosha harris
2023-11-30
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Attorney Dickstein was awesome. He listened and he followed through with everything that he explained to me. If I ever need help in the future I will definitely use his services again.
Robert Schuetz
Robert Schuetz
2023-11-02
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My experience was extremely positive. My lawyer RobertAndretz do an incredible job , worked very hard for me and am sure more than I realize behind the scenes .he made it very easy to understand all that was going on with my case by explaining every detail . My case results were exactly what I had hoped for. I am very thankful he was my lawyer .
Jessica Woodring
Jessica Woodring
2023-10-12
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Bethany Racer
Bethany Racer
2023-09-20
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I hired George to represent me as a victim's advocate in a domestic violence case. I was the 'alleged victim' in a situation that was grossly misrepresented from the start. He quickly identified issues that could cause self-incrimination if I were to testify. He did NOT let the prosecution bully me into testifying without the protection of immunity. Immunity was granted because of his expertise and knowledge of the law. I was given the opportunity to testify without fear, set things right, and exonerate someone who was falsely accused of domestic violence. George was direct, honest, and didn't sugarcoat anything. He was always prompt in his communication and made sure I understood my rights and my options. In short, he gave me and my family our lives back. He even held my purse when I thought I couldn't bring it with me to the stand (turns out I could. Sorry George!) If you're looking for fair, aggressive representation and someone who truly makes you feel understood, look no further. He's absolutely not afraid to win

Violating a self-exclusion agreement by entering a casino can result in a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge. Under Michigan law, criminal trespassing for violating voluntary self-exclusion is punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year and a fine of up to $1,000. Casino trespassing charges are serious, and you must take them seriously.

The Role of Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers

When someone breaches their self-exclusion agreement and faces criminal casino trespassing charges, experienced criminal defense attorneys are crucial. Lawyers can help in several ways:

  • Mitigation: Demonstrating that the violation was a lapse in judgment rather than a deliberate attempt to defy legal agreements.
  • Plea Bargaining: Negotiating with prosecutors for a great plea agreement to potentially dismiss or reduce casino trespassing charges, often by highlighting the individual’s efforts towards rehabilitation.
  • Legal Defense: Challenging the circumstances of the arrest based on the 4th Amendment or the application of the law pertaining to the individual’s case.
Lewis & Dickstein, Southfield, Michigan

Frequently Asked Questions


What should I do if I’m charged with trespassing after self-excluding?

Contact a defense attorney immediately. Discuss all details of your case privately with your lawyer to explore your defense options.

Can LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. handle cases in all Michigan casinos?

Yes, the firm handles cases involving all casinos in Michigan that participate in the state’s self-exclusion program.

Is there any way to remove my name from the self-exclusion list?

The terms of removal depend on the specific rules of the self-exclusion program. Typically, a period must elapse before removal can be requested. Legal counsel can provide guidance based on current laws.

What are the long-term consequences of a trespassing conviction?

A conviction for casino trespassing charges can affect various aspects of your life, including employment opportunities, especially where background checks are involved. Legal representation can help mitigate these potential impacts. Consequences that result from the conviction, as opposed to the sentence, are called collateral consequences.

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LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.’s Expertise

The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have significant experience helping clients who struggle with addiction and related legal issues. They understand the complexities of self-exclusion laws and are adept at navigating the justice system to protect clients’ rights and achieve the best possible outcomes. Their compassionate approach ensures that clients receive not only strong legal defense but also support through their recovery journey.

Anyone facing legal challenges after self-excluding from casinos should seek specialized legal support. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. offers expertise in defending clients facing criminal trespassing charges due to voluntary self-exclusion. They can provide the necessary guidance and representation to protect and defend you effectively. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit our website or contact our office directly.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

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