Law Office of Luke Scardigno - Queens Criminal Defense Attorney

Disorderly Pokémon Go conduct can get you in trouble

The colorful creatures of Pokémon are back and at your fingertips with the new mobile phone app Pokémon Go. Back in the late '90s, all Pokémon fans had to do to "catch 'em all" is collect trading cards. Now with the mobile app, fans have a new interactive way to catch their favorite characters on their phone.

However, this has law enforcement around the globe concerned. Players are not paying attention as they collect characters, causing some trespassing occurrences, distracted driving and other issues.

What are players doing?

Each time a player opens the game app, there is a warning telling players to be aware of their surroundings. This does not seem to stop some people from playing recklessly, however:

  • In Virginia, the Goochland County sheriff's office wrote a Facebook post saying that they have been "experiencing a rise in trespassing and suspicious activity" because of Pokémon Go. Examples of this include players going into churches and businesses after they are closed for the day.
  • A boy in Utah may face up to a $200 fine because he caught three creatures in an abandoned grain silo.
  • A driver in New York crashed into a tree while playing Pokémon Go.

In New York, police may ticket people for disorderly conduct or charge them with trespassing if players violate the law. If they play while driving, they may face reckless driving charges. Causing property damage or injury to others will increase the level of charges players face. 

So, the next time you want to play this game, use common sense. Don't go into places you're not supposed to without asking, watch where you're going and don't drive while playing.

If police charge you with a crime while playing the game, speaking with an attorney will help you understand your options.

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