Summer Camp is a fun music festival, and everyone in attendance just wants
to have a good time. That is, except for the police, who are looking to
boost arrest numbers, and get the most people in trouble that they can.
This article will help explain what to expect at the festival, dangers
a person could face, and how we can help.
What can you expect if you plan to go to Summer Camp?
The short answer is a strong police presence: both the one you see and
the one you don't. You'll see officers from Chillicothe, Peoria
County Sheriff's Department, the Illinois State Police troopers, and
ones from other counties specifically assigned to work the Multi-County
Narcotics Enforcement Group.[i] Then there are all the officers you don't see. As defense attorneys,
we rarely see undercover police like you see on television or in movies.
Then Summer Camp rolls around, and undercover police are everywhere. Undercover
police alone arrested lots of people every day for
possession of drugs to
distribution of drugs, and offenses in between.[ii] Arrests and the money they generate from mandatory fines, fees, assessments,
and court costs, helps, in turn, fund police enforcement effort, and there
is no shortage of police departments wanting more funding.
What can you expect on your way to or coming back from Summer Camp?
The biggest threat of arrest lies not with undercover police, but with
the police you do not see until it is too late. These are the ones whose
lights shine in your rearview mirror. Generally, arrests of people going
to or coming from Summer Camp occurred primarily in Peoria, Tazewell,
Fulton, Woodford, Marshall, Stark, and Knox counties, but also included
counties as far away as Bureau, Putnam, and LaSalle.[iii] These arrests range from everything from
Driving while Under the Influence (or DUI) to Unlawful Possession of Cannabis and/or a Controlled Substance.
Last year alone, more than 1,000 hits of LSD were seized by police at
What are the consequences of an arrest?
The immediate consequence of an arrest for most offenses usually means
sitting in a jail cell the rest of the weekend instead of enjoying the
music festival, then having to post what many believe to be an excessive
bond in order to just get out of jail. After that, a person finds himself
or herself charged with a serious offense, and usually prosecuted to the
fullest extent of the law, often beginning with the State wanting nothing
less than jail or prison.
Going to jail or prison is bad enough, but, for many, the consequences
of their arrests go beyond that. For example, anyone can be prosecuted
for a DUI when they have a controlled substance in their system or a certain
amount of alcohol or cannabis (or THC). When anyone is convicted of a
DUI offense, that person's driver's license will be revoked, and
frequently people will have to wait months - if not years - before even
being eligible to get a driving permit. Besides consequences like this
one, there is the very real chance of winding up with a drug conviction
permanently on a person's criminal history, which can affect a person's
being unable to obtain, among other things, loans, including student loans,
housing, or even employment.
What can Johnson Law Group do for me?
Only Johnson Law Group has the expertise and experience to help. We have
a track record of success when representing people in the criminal courts.
Because of the way that we work and are structured, we form strategies
that can oftentimes get us results few are able to brag about. Case in
point: a Summer Camp arrest from 2016.
We had a client who was in a fight while at Summer Camp, and, by fight,
we mean literally grabbing then hitting a festival employee while at Summer
Camp. Obviously, police immediately tackled him, and went to arrest him,
after which they found ecstasy, or MDMA, on his person. Given the circumstances
of his arrest, he faced some really serious offenses that could have ruined
his life forever, but he came to us. We succeeded in avoiding a felony
battery offense altogether, and even succeeded in getting him a specialized
probation, so that he was never convicted of anything. And we did all
of this without him ever having to serve a day in jail. We work as hard
on all of our cases stemming from an arrest related to Summer Camp, and
we stand ready to help anyone who is in trouble.