US fans everywhere have gone wild during the past two games against Ghana and Portugal. There are countless videos on YouTube documenting reactions to US goals, such as this one:
Looks familiar, right? Based on reactions from the past two games, the US v. Germany game tomorrow should trigger just as much insanity. While it’s no secret that World Cup games are incredibly exciting, you should always use your best judgment when watching. If you don’t, you could land a criminal charge – believe it or not, overly aggressive celebrating could cost you a disorderly conduct or public intoxication charge. Sure, these may seem like harmless minor offenses, but they can still hold serious consequences.
Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace
If you’re charged with disorderly conduct, it means that the arresting officer claims that you were purposefully acting out of control. Many police officers will also argue that you disturbed the public peace – this charge even includes being unreasonably loud.
Say you’re watching a World Cup game in a restaurant and you get a little too rowdy while aggressively supporting your team. If your cheering starts to disturb others or your yelling gets unreasonably loud, you can end up with both a disorderly conduct and a disturbing the peace charge.
Disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace are both misdemeanors with maximum penalties of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
If you’re charged with disorderly intoxication, it means that the arresting officer claims you were drunk in a public place and you caused a public disturbance or endangered the safety of another person or property.
Say you’ve been drinking and watching the World Cup with friends at a bar. When it ends, you all step onto the sidewalk to
walk stumble home, talking loud and excitedly, still feeling the adrenaline rush of the game. At that moment, you could receive a disorderly intoxication charge.
Disorderly intoxication is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $100 fine. If you consent or if your health is in danger, you can avoid these penalties by being taken to a facility (“drunk tank”) to sober up instead of getting arrested. However, if you were charged with anything else at that time (e.g. malicious destruction of property, assault, etc.), you could still have a criminal case.
As exciting as the World Cup is, it’s not worth you getting a criminal record. Do your best to celebrate responsibly and, as always, contact Carey Law Office at (301) 464-2500 if you’re in need of legal assistance. Call to schedule your free initial consultation today – we’ll get you through this.