Despite all events being "zero tolerance" and "drug free," people often use or sell drugs at festivals, concerts and clubs – and often get arrested for it.
The Fest Law network is a group of criminal defense attorneys and law students who understand this context of legal action, commonly used drugs and charges, and, importantly, share a belief that despite our current drug laws being written the way they are, that drug use ought to be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal matter. They will see and treat individuals making use of the Fest Law Network with compassion and respect.
People who get arrested at a festival often have traveled to that festival from out of state. Many of these individuals may be young people, or it may be their first time dealing with the criminal justice system. They are usually scared and unsure of where to turn to for accurate legal advice.
Representatives within the Fest Law Network agree to be called upon by individuals in need of legal advice and to give a brief, free 30 minute – 1 hour consultation on their case or issue. Topics should include a general overview of what to expect in court, what documentation is needed or will be asked for, and help considering whether a public defender will suffice in their case.
Fest Law Network representatives will agree to provide the 30 minute – 1 hour consultation for free. The focus of this consultation should be on helping the individual understand their options, their most likely outcome and to give them accurate local legal information.
An attorney in the Fest Law Network can offer to take an individual referral as a client so long as they also provide the name and contact information of at least two other comparable criminal defense attorneys as a resource for the individual to consider. Aggressive "pitching" to individuals making use of the Fest Law Network will not be tolerated.
Philosophically, we are envisioning this more as a “directory” of attorneys who can be called upon in an emergency as opposed to an advertising or referral network.
We are also reaching out to law students as part of this new network. Part of the goal of the Fest Law Network is to try to provide legal research and other support to groups working in the fields of "Harm Reduction" and drug policy reform. (DanceSafe, SSDP, Amplify etc)
One of our goals is to set up a directory matching law students who have an interest in researching these topics with organizations that may have a need for legal research or may be looking for legal interns.
The Drug Policy Alliance is currently completing its work on a state by state guide as to the legality of drug testing kits. Here is the legal research prepared by Donika Alexova.
We would love feedback from attorneys and law students in the Fest Law Network about this state by state guide. We are especially interested as what insight you can provide as to whether you have seen prosecutions under your home state’s “drug paraphernalia” laws.
To join the Fest Law Network, please email email@example.com.
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