Coachella Criminal Charges
Each year since 1999, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has attracted top artists and has become a fun place to be for locals and visitors from out-of-town. Unfortunately, because some of the attendees drink or use drugs at Coachella, it has also become a popular place for undercover police officers to make arrests.
If you or your child was arrested at Coachella, you must respond to the charges that you are facing and treat them with the seriousness they deserve. Criminal charges can result in penalties including jail time, the suspension of a driver’s license, fines and a permanent record.
Criminal charges can be difficult for anyone to cope with, but are especially challenging for those who may have been visiting from out of town for the festival and who will now have to return for court dates. A Palm Desert Coachella defense attorney can help. Contact Michael B. Goldstein, a Professional Law Corporation to schedule a consultation and learn about how to protect your legal rights.
Common Criminal Offenses at Coachella Music Festival
Some of the most common criminal offenses that people may be charged with at Coachella music festival include:
- Drug possession : Simple possession can be a misdemeanor or felony depending upon what kind of drug you have and how much of the drug. You can also be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Many people are charged with drug possession for having marijuana, in part because of the mistaken belief that marijuana is legal in California. It is not, outside of medical marijuana with a valid prescription.
- Possession for sales/sale : It is possible to be charged with possession for sales if you have a large quantity of the drug and law enforcement believes you may sell it. You can also be charged with actually selling or distributing the drug if you are caught doing so.
- Minor in possession of alcohol : If you are under age 21, you cannot have any alcohol on your person or under your control in a public place, a place open to the public, a street or a highway. This means if you bring alcohol to Coachella or obtain alcohol while there, you can face this misdemeanor charge.
- Public intoxication. California’s “drunk in public law” found in Penal Code section 647(f) makes it a crime to be so drunk in public that you obstruct others from walking on public ways or that you cannot exercise care for the safety of yourself or others.
- Possession of a fake I.D.: It is illegal to have a fake I.D. in your possession or to use a fake identification to try to purchase alcohol.
- Public nudity. California has outlawed indecent exposure in Penal Code section 314. Indecent exposure refers to intentionally exposing your breasts or genitals to sexually gratify yourself or to offend someone else. Taking your shirt off at a concert could result in a public nudity charge under certain circumstances.
These are some of the most common offenses that can arise at Coachella. Remember, you can be arrested and charged with a crime for breaking California law regardless of whether you live in the state or are just visiting for the music festival.
Penalties for Arrests at Coachella
The potential penalties that you will face if you are arrested at Coachella vary depending upon the crime with which you are charged. Most of the criminal acts including minor in possession of alcohol; public intoxication and even simple drug possession are usually charged as misdemeanors. If you commit a more serious crime such as selling drugs, however, you could be charged with a felony.
Misdemeanor crimes normally have penalties of less than a year in jail, and it is common that no jail time will be required. Fines, community service and mandated drug and alcohol counseling may be ordered. For felonies, however, you could be sentenced to more than a year of jail time depending upon the nature of your offense.
Whether you are found guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony, however, you will have a permanent criminal record if convicted of a crime. This record earned at a music festival could follow you for the rest of your life, making it more difficult to get into college or grad school and more difficult to get a job.
Palm Desert Criminal Defense Attorney – Coachella Music Festival Arrests
When you are charged with a criminal offense, your first call should be to a defense attorney. If you are charged at Coachella, you’ll want a local attorney even if you live out of state so your lawyer can help you to understand the laws of the local courts and can work with you to raise defenses or to negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf.
You are always innocent until proven guilty when accused of a crime and there are many different types of defenses depending upon the type of criminal allegations you are facing. A violation of your constitutional rights, and lack of evidence are some of the potential arguments that can be made to help you to avoid conviction after a Coachella arrest.
To learn more about what defenses might work for you as you fight to avoid a criminal record or serious penalties, contact Michael B. Goldstein, a Professional Law Corporation.
Protect your rights! Call (760) 772-4278 for a free and confidential appointment today.