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Beware Coachella and other Festivals: Be Not a Victim

We reiterate our periodic warning on this subject, which is all too often prejudicially disregarded.

Some of the biggest opportunities for local law enforcement to collect their Block Grant Graft, paid to them by Sacramento for busting people, are the biggie music fests here, Coachella Fest, and Stagecoach, the White Party, and various other Festivals.

Undercover officers will sidle up to unsuspecting music lovers/fun lovers and start seemingly innocent conversations about drugs, and the next thing you know, you will be busted - for possession, for possession for sales, or for sales. Don't be foolish enough to converse with anyone you do not personally know about anything illicit, especially drugs.  Moreover, when exchanging things hand-to-hand with someone, no matter what it is, take heed of who is or could be watching, because the cops will err on the side of over-reaction in pursuit of their grant funds gains. Don't be noticeably reaching into socks, pockets, bras, paper bags: that is a telltale sign that invites constabularial attention. 

If you do get nabbed, I am the single most effective lawyer to get you out of trouble or to minimize the trouble that has befallen you.  But I would prefer that you come to our community, have fun, and then leave unscathed by the maniacal cop-shop enterprise that feasts on other people's good times like a voracious tick on an innocent hound's ear.  

You are here for good times.  The cops want good times too.  The good times the cops have is to screw you; don't let it happen. It used to be that the police were present to protect people's opportunities for a safe and good time; now, their focus is on screwing over those who want to have a good time. Sad. 

As I announced and predicted in various forums over the years, there are many arrests at the various incarnations of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival [Coachella Fest] and Stagecoach, and most could have been avoided if my advice had been followed.

These wonderful and fun-filled gatherings are sadly “fish in the barrel” opportunities for the combined police forces sneaking around to nab whomever they find having too much fun.

You need to understand that local government coffers swell with these sorts of arrests, and subsequent prosecutions, because they are Grant funded, meaning the local agencies receive enormous sums of money from Sacramento, which was sent there from Washington, D.C., which was taken from you in taxes back here, to screw over people, in the disingenuous name of “health” and “safety,” in this nation conceived of Liberty.  And most of these sorts of arrests were and are avoidable, if you are just careful of to whom you are speaking, of who you are letting sidle up to you, and then of what you say and permit when you are questioned, and then detained, and then arrested.  

Remember that you are not ever required to talk to cops, nor to let them search, and you should not, because neither talking nor allowing searches ever, ever helps.  Never!  The police are there to put cases together, not to seek the neutral ends of justice, nor to help you out of the downsides of your bad choices.

Many times, the officer, plainclothes or otherwise, does not have all the information he/she needs to support arrest or prosecution, so they will start asking seemingly benign questions: what did you take out of your [sock, bra, pocket]; how old are you; where did you get [         ]; what is that white powder, etc.?  You do not need to answer, and you never should.  If they suspect you of underage drinking, don't offer over your license – make them take it; don't say it's fake – make them prove it.  Don't consent to searches of your person, property, or vehicles.

Do not get deluded into thinking the police will help you out if you are just “honest” with them, because they won't: they are not social workers, pastors, psychologists, nor your friends; they are government agents with an agenda, and one that does not include helping you out.  Do not plead with them, because that makes them happy that they have “won” over your spirit as well as your liberty.  Do not think it is being dishonest to tell the police you have nothing to say; I am not advocating lying to the police – only they can get away with lying in this system – I am advocating not saying anything, either before or after you are arrested.

Don't fall for the palaver that you will most likely get diversion or a hand-slap if you “cooperate,” because they cannot make that commitment, and many seemingly minor dispositions of drug or alcohol offenses can have long-range effects on your plans in life.  Indeed, the classic PC 1000 deferred entry of judgment disposition here is deemed a conviction for many federal purposes, which include immigration and sometimes federal grants and job applications.  Do not believe anything you hear from the police about what will happen with your case: the courts have given them license to lie to you.

Even though avoidable things have not been avoided, that which should have been avoided can be mitigated or eliminated if you have the proper attorney.

No one is more effective nor experienced with dealing with drug, alcohol, and conduct related offenses at these festivals [nor anywhere else] than am I.  No one has a better track record, credibility in the Courts, grit, nor scholarship than I.

If you have been victimized at one of the festivals, this weekend's or next weekend, or later Stagecoach, contact me.  You can do no better than having me on your side if you have been accused of crimes; you can [and too many do!], however, do much worse.

It does not cost to talk to me about your case; it will, however, cost you much more than mere money if you choose to go elsewhere.

Be safe. And free.

Michael Kennedy

Admitted to Bar, State of California, 1981 Education: Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania (B.A., 1970) Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California (J.D., Scale, 1981) Harvard Law School, Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Cambridge, 1987


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