This week marks the start of Major League Baseball season (2018) in the United States. With 30 major league baseball teams across the country starting their season this week, there are going to be just as many opening days in the home team’s city.
Follow these simple tips to enjoy the game and avoid arrest.
Major League Baseball certainly wants everyone to enjoy the opening day and have a good time but there are some tips to follow to avoid an arrest on opening day.
Some of the most common criminal offenses committed on opening day include:
- drunk in public,
- fans assaulting one another, and
- Malicious destruction of property
- Other minor and major misdemeanors and felonies in and outside of the ballpark.
We’re going to take a look at each offense and how you can avoid getting arrested on opening day.
Don’t Trespass on the Field
While you may get excited about the game, it is illegal to enter the field of play for any major league baseball team on opening day or any other day during the season. Most stadiums and their administration will also ban an individual that enter the field during a game.
In addition to being banned from the stadium and the potential loss of season tickets for the trespasser, individuals may be charged criminally. Signs posted throughout the stadium prohibit trespassing on the field.
Typically, trespassing is the probation for a person entering or crossing over property that has been marked no trespassing. As an example, in Maryland, if a person is charged and convicted of trespassing they may face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $500.
If an individual has been previously convicted of trespassing they may face up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
In addition to being arrested and charged with trespassing, the stadium Authority will probably ban the person from ever entering the stadium again. Since Oriole Park at Camden Yards, is located in Baltimore City, Maryland, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office has jurisdiction to prosecute the cases when individuals trespass on the field.
As discussed in an article from 2012 in the Baltimore Sun, individuals have been banned for life for entering the park and playing field.
Public intoxication at the Ballpark
There are various laws that punish public intoxication, which is being intoxicated or drinking too much in public and endangering the safety of others or causing a public disturbance.
If law enforcement believes that an individual is too intoxicated they may issue a citation, eject the individual from the stadium or charge the person with public drinking.
Public intoxication in Maryland is a misdemeanor which could land an individual in jail up to 90 days and require them to pay $100 fine.
It’s certainly no criminal offense to go to the game and enjoy a couple of alcoholic beverages. But at the prices of $8 a beer you can be an expensive endeavor as well as a costly one to your record and reputation if you’re arrested for public intoxication at the Ballpark.
Assault and battery at a baseball game
Assault and battery, or most commonly referred to as assault, is the physical offense of contact with another individual.
Assault can occur by slapping, hitting, or even spitting on another person.
Typically, assault occur when individuals have consumed too much alcoholic beverages and tempers flare. If the tempers overflow and the disagreement turns physical, then one or both of the individuals may be charged with second-degree.
If an individual is charged with assault at an Orioles game, they may be facing a misdemeanor offense and up to 10 years in jail and a fine of $2,500.
Since the ballpark will have many members of law enforcement with the Baltimore City Police in attendance for fan safety, if a person is accused of assaulting a police officer and cause serious bodily injury, then they’re facing a felony offense and could face up to 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine
Screening and metal detectors at MLB stadiums
All MLB teams now screen all fans prior to entry by using metal detection and metal detectors. Fans are required to pass through a magnetometer or handheld device prior to entry to ensure there are no weapons are there dangerous devices brought into the stadium.
Ensure your safety and others and safe passage into a stadium by avoiding any type of prohibited items which may include firearms, knives or other types of weapons.
Throwing Items on the Field during a Baseball Game
Any individual caught throwing trash or other items on the field they also be ejected from the stadium. This was scene in Boston a couple of years ago when a fan threw a bottle that an Orioles outfielder.
Stadium authorities and officials have been known to not only eject the fan but also revoke their season tickets and ban them from attending any future baseball games.
Therefore, refrain from throwing items on the field, as this may result and a charge of assault or malicious destruction of property if it causes damage.
The Law Offices of Randolph Rice want to remind everyone to have fun, stay safe and play by the rules when you visit a major league baseball stadium.
As baseball is our past time and can be enjoyed without committing a criminal offense or being charged with a crime.
Peanuts and popcorn are a lot better than the food served at the jail.