Don’t Be That Person – Superb Crimes To Avoid During The Super Bowl
As any football fan knows, Super Bowl LIV will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on February 2, 2020. Whether you are rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers, a word of caution for anyone attending the Big Game: unruly and illegal behavior can lead to your arrest. If you break the law while visiting Miami, it takes an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.
Let’s take a look at some common crimes that have occurred at past Super Bowls:
Because driving under the influence is inherently dangerous, DUI laws in Florida are strictly enforced. While a first DUI is considered a misdemeanor, it carries the potential of fines, a license suspension, points on your driving record, and even jail time. Of course, enjoying a cold beer is part of the Super Bowl ritual, but be prepared for DUI traffic stops in Miami during Super Bowl week.
If you are arrested for DUI in Florida, that does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. A highly skilled DUI attorney knows how to assert a number of defenses. The arresting officer may not have administered the breathalyzer test properly, for example, or the machine may not have been properly maintained or calibrated. Ultimately, an adept DUI lawyer can protect your wallet, your driving privileges, and your freedom.
Resisting an Officer
The police will have their hands full as thousands of people descend on Miami for the Super Bowl. The best thing to do if you encounter the police for any reason is to cooperate while politely making any objections you may have to the officers and their conduct. Depending on the circumstances, you can be charged with Resisting an officer with or without violence.
Resisting an officer without violence in Miami is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. Resisting an officer with violence is far more serious: a third-degree felony that could lead to five years in prison. In both cases, it takes a skilled Miami criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.
Possession of marijuana is still a crime in Florida at this time, even though medical marijuana is legal for those with a valid prescription (or “marijuana card”). Carrying upto 20 grams is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a fine up to $1,000; possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony. The penalties are elevated for possessing higher amounts. Possessing other drugs, such as cocaine (a Schedule II narcotic) is a more serious offense. If you are arrested for drug possession while in Miami for the Super Bowl, contact a Miami drug crimes attorney as soon as possible.
Football fans are known for their passion, but sometimes they can go overboard. Given that the Super Bowl has become a weeks-long celebration in the host city, arrests for disorderly conduct are very common. In Florida, disorderly conduct occurs when a person disturbs the peace and quiet of the public, outrages public decency, or engages in fighting. The offense is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, which can result in jail time and probation, as well as a permanent criminal record. Because this statute is so broad, a great many types of conduct may be considered disorderly, which makes having proper legal representation crucial.
Under Florida law, trespassing involves willfully entering or remaining upon property, or in a structure or conveyance, without the owner’s permission. Because so many people will be visiting Miami during the Big Game who are not familiar with the area, it’s easy to see how one can trespass on another person’s property. Proving that the offender did so “willfully” is another matter. The best way to protect your rights if you are charged with trespassing during the Super Bowl is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
In Florida, the crime of disorderly intoxication occurs when an intoxicated person endangers the safety of another or causes a disturbance in public. There is a difference between causing a disturbance and merely being annoying, however. Nonetheless, football fans can easily cross the line during the Super Bowl and find themselves facing a charge of disorderly intoxication.
Solicitation of a Prostitute
In February 2019, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots (winner of last year’s Super Bowl), was arrested for solicitation for allegedly paying for sex acts on two separate occasions at a massage parlor in Jupiter. While Kraft has denied any wrongdoing and the matter has yet to be resolved, this case highlights how anyone can be charged with solicitation.
In Florida, solicitation of a prostitute is considered a second-degree misdemeanor for a first offense, punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both. A second offense is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in a one-year jail sentence, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Sex with a Minor
Given that people of all ages will be attending the Super Bowl this year, someone could find himself or herself unwittingly having sex with a minor. This offense involves engaging in various types of sexual conduct with a minor who is 16 or 17 years old — ignorance of his or her age is not a valid defense. This offense is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
Contact a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney
In football, the best offense is often “Dee-fence.” If you are charged with a crime during the Super Bowl, the best defense is to contact the experienced attorneys at Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC.
Posted in: Criminal