Everyone loves to have a good time, especially those who enjoy attending Mardi Gras year after year. This year may look a little different at Mardi Gras due to COVID-19; however, that will not stop people from attending. As human beings, we need a temporary escape to hardships we are experiencing, and COVID-19 is no exception.
This year Mardi Gras has cancelled parades and balls, and social distancing is highly encouraged, if not enforced. Although there are cancellations and restrictions, that does not mean crowds of people will not be there celebrating the beginning of spring. Unfortunately, big crowds can mean an increase in crime, even though Mardi Gras is supposed to be a joyous time. If you, a friend, or family member are accused of a crime, it is important for you to know what can happen to you if you are arrested and accused. What is even more important is that you need to have a plan in place to get you out of trouble, if trouble should happen.
Common Mardi Gras Crimes
When you hear about Mardi Gras, what do you think of? Do you picture the beads, dancing in the street, crowds of people? Do you hear the joyous music playing? Most people imagine those typical, Mardi Gras events; however, have you ever thought about what goes on behind the scenes?
The main spot for Mardi Gras is the French Quarter in New Orleans. Over a million people come to the French Quarter to enjoy a good time with their friends and family. Any high-trafficked tourist area will attract intentional or unintentional criminal behavior, and the French Quarters is the main spot for crimes during Mardi Gras. The most common crimes that occur during Mardi Gras are, but not limited to:
- Burglary, robbery, and theft
- Physical and sexual assault
- Public disturbances
- Property damage
- Illegal drug activity
- Public intoxication
Some crimes, such as murder, have been reported, even though that is the only crime that is declining and not increasing during Mardi Gras each year. There is normally around 70% of crimes that are reported that involve some kind of theft, anywhere from pickpocketing to armed robbery. There has, unfortunately, been a 40% increase in rape over the years.
The most notorious spot for crimes to take place is between the streets of St. Louis and Toulouse. The variety of criminal acts tend to take place between 5pm and 10pm but start to decrease quickly after midnight due to authorities sending people home.
It is important to keep in mind that it is not only local law enforcement that are monitoring crime. The FBI and law enforcement from other areas could be on every corner; therefore, the chances of being caught are increasing.
There is only 1% of New Orleans residents that actually live within the French Quarter. This means that tourists are the main perpetrators of most of the crimes. Many tourists travel from out of state and even other countries, which can make prosecution difficult and disrupt your life in a major way if you are caught or accused.
Depending on the crime that is committed, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor could cost you a fine and probation while a felony could land you in prison for years, as well as increase the fines and court costs that you would be responsible for.
Whether it is a felony or misdemeanor, any crime will be permanently attached to your criminal record and will follow you for the rest of your life. Out-of-state visitors may not be able to leave Louisiana for a while, depending on the charges. There is also a chance you would have to come back routinely for court appointments and meetings with a lawyer.
In reality, it is not a great idea to commit a crime during Mardi Gras. Most courts are not lenient when alcohol is involved, and if you find yourself or a loved one in the center of criminal accusations and are arrested, you will need to get out of jail as soon as possible. Doing so is not always cheap. Once bail is set, and you need assistance paying it, contact AAAA Discount Bail Bonds at (936) 539-4444. We will get the paperwork started right away so you or your loved one can be back home quickly. We are available 24/7!