Los Angeles is host to a broad range of professional sporting events with an even stronger fan base. It's always "sports season" in LA, with local and out-of-town fans gearing up for the upcoming games. Unfortunately at sporting events, the mixture of strong emotions, alcohol, and momentary lapses in better judgment has a tendency to create a precarious environment. Arrests and citations are now a common occurrence at these Los Angeles events, introducing many attendees to the justice system for the first time. And legal representation in sporting event cases can be critical.
Los Angeles Sporting Event Attorney
The majority of criminal cases initiated at LA sporting events are misdemeanor level, which are aggressively prosecuted by the LA City Attorney’s Office. More serious felonies are prosecuted by the District Attorney.
While these arrests are serious, there may be early intervention options which a Los Angeles Sporting Event Attorney can explore, to guide you in a more productive direction. Thus, if you have been arrested or detained at a local sporting event, it is important to obtain prompt legal advice about your options.
In past years when security concerns were lower, it was not uncommon for police to allow minor violations to “slide.” Officers would sometimes allow unruly/intoxicated fans, accompanied by better-behaved companions, to be escorted out of an event, and back home, without an arrest.
Los Angeles has experienced extraordinary public disturbances/riots at Staples Center, even with extensive police presence. In response to this, even stronger security measures were put in place for substantial events at this and other LA venues.
Dodger Stadium experienced highly-negative public events (fans seriously injured in their parking lot by unruly attendees), which led to extensive additional police presence which exists to this day.
Lower Tolerance of Inappropriate Behavior
Because of multiple serious local and national sporting event disturbances, Los Angeles law enforcement agencies appear to have a set a lower threshold for ”inappropriate” behavior. Uniformed and plainclothes officers are now a commonplace at LA sporting events. Importantly, high-visibility police enforcement of laws serves as a specific and general deterrent to those who may be considering similar conduct.
It's not unusual at Staples Center, prior to the start, to observe uniformed LA police officers at one building entrance, officers nearby on Segway vehicles, motorcycle officers on continuous patrol around the venue (as well as positioned at areas of the street which were cordoned off), and many officers present inside of the arena. High-profile enforcement/visibility is clearly the present-day normal.
Los Angeles Sporting Events
There is a tendency for fans to act a bit more boisterous then usual while attending an event for a favorite team. Terse words between opposing teams’ fans can lead to large fights. Public intoxication leads to safety concerns not only of the intoxicated person, but bystanders, as well. And traffic offenses have the potential to lead to greater safety concerns because of heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Now that law enforcement has tightened things up at local events, fans who have never had a negative contact with authorities are finding themselves on the wrong end of the law even because of relatively benign conduct, such as “open container” or public drinking violations, escalated traffic violations, trespassing, or “failing to disperse.” While these situations can be serious, there may be ways to offset and mitigate the end results.
Because any conviction related to conduct at a sporting event can have long-term consequences, it is important to explore your options. If you have a clean record and a pending LA sporting event case, your attorney should quickly request the City Attorney or DA to consider a filing alternative, such as APPS or an Office Hearing, rather than a criminal filing in court.
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