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Coachella Music Festival

Common Criminal Offenses at Coachella Music and Art Festival

Coachella Music FestivalEvery year since 1999, for three days in April, the quiet town of Coachella becomes host to one of the most famous, most exciting, and most profitable events held in the United States, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Featuring performances by some of the hottest and most talented musicians and impressive visual arts displays, the festival is a fantastic place to experience excellent music, intriguing avant-garde art, and three days of fun and excitement in the spring sunshine.

Situated on the edge of the Salton Sea, the Coachella Valley where the festival is held is known for its toasty weather, and Coachella itself is known as the City of Eternal Sunshine. It’s not too surprising to discover that festival-goers find a cold beverage the perfect compliment to the fun and energy of the event. With so much activity and excitement in the air, and with so many visitors enjoying a few alcoholic drinks to take the edge off the heat, it’s to be expected that once in a while things get a little out of hand.

Sometimes, a little too much excitement can end in an arrest. Some of the more common infractions at events of this type include:

  1. Public Intoxication: Beer and other alcohol can be a great way to relax and enjoy the spring weather, but too much can lower inhibitions, leading to a propensity to act out at a time when your judgement – and your motorskills – aren’t the best. Behaving badly and disturbing the peace while under the influence isn’t the most serious crime, but it can get you arrested and thrown in jail to spend the night while you sober up – and, depending on how egregious the infraction, may result in criminal charges.
  2. Possession of a Controlled Substance: In the relaxed atmosphere of a music an arts festival, drugs are sure to find their way around. Possessing or using drugs, while more common than most people like to admit, can carry with it some severe criminal penalties – as well as additional charges, like possession with intent to distribute, if there is enough of the substance present.
  3. Public Indecency: With a relaxed atmosphere, lots of alcohol (and maybe some other mind-altering substances), reduced inhibitions and hundreds of beautiful people wandering about enjoying the sunshine, it isn’t uncommon for a person to get a little carried away. Lewd behavior can carry some particularly harsh criminal ramifications – even for something once considered a harmless prank. like streaking – up to and including charges of sexual assault and/or registry as a sex offender.
  4. DUI: Once the festival is over and it’s time to go, it’s a little too easy to decide to get behind the wheel and begin the journey back home, even if you really should sleep it off and leave in the morning. Driving under the influence can be extremely deadly for the driver, any passengers, and everyone else on the road – and as a result, enforcement and punishment of DUIs is very strict. A DUI arrest can result in hefty fines, a suspension or revocation of your license, an impounded car – or, if you were involved in a collision, civil damages and extra criminal charges, including reckless endangerment and even vehicular manslaughter.

An arrest can really put a damper on your weekend – but it isn’t the end of the world. Knowing who to contact is key – somebody who can help you prepare a defense and protect your rights. An experienced criminal defense specialist is your best chance at successfully trying your case.

Just as important is an attorney who has extensive knowledge of local and state ordinances – if you live out of state, only visiting California for a few days to enjoy the festival, then you should consider the extra insight that a Southern California law firm can bring to your case. Call us for a free evaluation – even if you live out of state – and we will discuss your case and what options are best for you.