Why climbing a pole in Philadelphia on Super Bowl Sunday could lead to a felony conviction in Pennsylvania
Super Bowl Sunday is coming and the Philadelphia Eagles will play in the big game against the Kansas City Chiefs and against with their former Head Coach, Andy Reid
The City is preparing for a championship but the Philadelphia Police Department, along with the surrounding law enforcement county departments (Delaware, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery) are also making the necessary preparations in the event that fans take the celebration too far. It is important to understand that in Pennsylvania, there are a number of criminal statutes directed at large gatherings such as the Super Bowl.
How serious is criminal mischief charge in Pennsylvania?
One of the most common criminal offenses that our law firm deals with is criminal mischief, which can be graded as either a summary offense or as high as a felony crime in the Commonwealth. Criminal mischief, Title 18, Section 3304 is the damaging of property of another, intentionally, recklessly, or by, in some cases negligence.
Criminal mischief is a felony of the third degree if the act intentionally causes loss in excess of $5,000 or substantial interruption or impairment of public communications or transportation which would include things like Septa bus lines, traffic signals (climbing traffic signal poles) or power lines. It is a misdemeanor of the second degree if the loss is in excess of $1,000 and a misdemeanor of the third degree if the loss is in excess of $500 but less than a $1,000. It is a summary offense if the offense is less than $500.
In addition to criminal mischief, there is also Disorderly Conduct under Title 18, Section 5503. Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor of the third degree if the intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience or if he or she persists in the conduct after reasonable warnings or requests to stop.
In all other cases, disorderly conduct is a summary offense committed when a person intends to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm or recklessly creates a risk. Disorderly conduct is a very broad charge and is often brought with a criminal mischief charge when there is property damage following an incident. The Super Bowl will bring together a large gathering of people regardless if the game results in a win or loss for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police
Finally, it is not uncommon to see a fleeing or attempting to elude police under Section 3733 (Title 75). This offense is listed under the Vehicle Code but is nevertheless a criminal offense in the Commonwealth. It is committed when a driver of a motor vehicle willfully fails or refuses to bring his vehicle to a stop or otherwise flees or attempts to elude a pursuing police officer. It is normally graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree but can be graded as high as a felony of the third degree if the driver is under the influence (DUI) at the time of the incident or endangers the law enforcement officer or member of the general public due to engaging high speed chases.
Our law firm wishes the Philadelphia Eagles the best of luck in the Super Bowl but know that our law firm is ready to stand with you regardless of the outcome of this game.
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