Every spring, thousands of people flock to the Indio desert to take part
in the massive three-day music festival, Coachella. If you’re looking
to attend Coachella this year, you may want to know your legal rights
before you pack your bags.
Weed is legal in California now, so I can’t get arrested right?
Wrong! For some festival goers, the music just isn’t the same without smoking
some dank weed. But, marijuana still isn’t recreationally legal
in California, sorry Bro. Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana
is considered an infraction in California. You may not be arrested, but
you’ll be fined $100. Possession of more than one ounce is a misdemeanor,
punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine.
totally bring weed in, I’ve got my medical card.
Nope. While you will not be arrested for possession if you have marijuana on
you with your medical card, the organizers of Coachella have made it very
clear that medical marijuana is not permitted on festival grounds. As
this is a private event, if you violate Coachella policy, they have the
right to kick you out of the festival. So, leave that weed at the hotel.
Is it cool if I sneak in these other drugs?
Super Uncool. Possession of ecstasy, shrooms, cocaine, heroin or meth is Illegal in
California. Also, if you are in possession of prescription narcotics like
OxyContin, Ketamine, Adderall,and Vicodin those are all illegal without
a prescription specific to you from a licensed physician. Under Coachella’s
policies, if you have a prescription, they must be clearly labeled in
a pharmacy bottle with the owner’s name on it. If you are found
in possession of these substances, you could be charged with a misdemeanor.
Drug possession misdemeanors have a max penalty of up to one year in jail.
You should know that while most are charged with a misdemeanor, the judge
can decide to charge you with a felony depending on your circumstances.
I probably can’t share my drugs with friends can I?
No. We know you may want to pass the blunt around for your new friends, but
sharing or selling drugs can get you into major trouble. You could face
a felony conviction and up to three years in jail. If police find even
a few pills of ecstasy on you.
I didn’t bring drugsinto Coachella, but I’m totally high right now.
Whoa, buddy! Even if you aren’t caught with possession of an illegal substance,
if the police suspect you are under the influence, you can be arrested
as it’s illegal to be high in a public place. You could be penalized
with up to 5 years on probation and up to one year in jail or drug counseling.
Dang, that chick/guy is hot, I’d love to hook up with them, is that cool?
That depends! If you’re intoxicated and find another person intoxicatingly sexy,
great – just don’t forget you need to get their consent before
any sexy time can begin. Also, if the person you’re trying to hook
up is too intoxicated to give consent, DON’T HOOK UP WITH THEM.
California presumes if someone is intoxicated, they are incapable of consent.
You could be arrested and charged with felony rape, face up to 8 years
in prison, and be required to register as a sex offender. If the victim
is a minor you could face up to 13 years in prison, and be required to
register as a sex offender.
Once you’ve got consent and you’re positive their over 18 –
get a room! Having sex in public is a misdemeanor. You could be fined
and required to attend sex offender counseling.
That girl is talking crap, I’m going to beat her up okay?
Not Okay. She may be talking crap about your outfits or the fact that you and your
friends bought the last cold Stellas at the beer gardens--- whatever the
reason, getting into fisticuffs isn’t worth it. Under California
penal code, the simple touching of another person, even if there is no
injury, could be considered battery. Battery is considered a misdemeanor
and could carry a punishment of up to 6 months in jail and a $2000 fine.
If you manage to cause serious bodily injury to your nemesis, then that
misdemeanor could be escalated up to a felony meaning you could face up
to four years in local custody or in a California state prison. In the
end, so not worth it girl!
We can’t find our designated driver, but I can drive us home! I’m
a better driver drunk than I am sober! Cool?
Not. Cool. Turn the car off and put the keys down, you are not okay to drive. Driving
while drunk—or while under the influence of any other substance—could
get you into a whole mess of trouble. Not only that, you could wind up
killing someone or killing yourself if you got into an accident. The legal
limit for blood alcohol content is .08% but even if you blow under that
limit, should the police believe you have been drinking or are unable
to operate a motor vehicle they can still charge you with a DUI. Getting
a DUI is expensive, not only could you wind up having to pay thousands
of dollars in fines, your license could be suspended anywhere from 6 months
to 3 years depending on how many previous DUIs you have. In other words,
kiss your summer vacation plans goodbye! Coachella sets up a number of
Taxi services, shuttles, Uber and Lyft drivers to help festival goers
get back to their campgrounds, hotels, or RVs safely --- take advantage of them.
Were you arrested at Coachella?
If you were arrested at Coachella, depending on your circumstances, you
could face severe penalties. Ensure your future by choosing the right
legal representation. At the Law Office of Robert Little, we have more
than 20 years of experience handling criminal cases. Attorney Little has
a unique perspective on criminal defense as a former prosecutor. Hire
an attorney who is deeply invested in ensuring you have the best outcome
possible for your situation.
Are you ready to get started? – Contact our office for a