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Be Safe and Stay Within Your Rights at Deltopia 2015

Steven R. Andrade March 18, 2015

Deltopia is an annual party attended mostly by thousands of USC-Santa Barbara students on the first weekend of spring each year. There is music, dancing, plenty of drinking and sometimes a bit of illicit activity, but usually it is an orderly affair with few problems. The 2014 edition of Deltopia ended badly, with numerous arrests and all who enjoy the event hope that doesn't happen again.

Deltopia 2015, as stated on its Facebook page, is slated for April 4 on Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista. If you plan to attend Deltopia 2015, we suggest you strike a balance between having fun and staying within the bounds of the law. We recognize that sometimes students intend just to have fun, but things get out of hand. If you are caught with an illegal drug or are consuming alcohol illegally, you could be cited as a minor in possession. If you encounter the police, you have legal rights, no matter what you are doing, and if you are arrested you should remain calm and obtain the assistance of a Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney ASAP.

As an Isla Vista property owner who rents housing to students, attorney Steven Andrade understands the student lifestyle and offers discounts to students who need legal help for a Deltopia-related charge. Steven Andrade believes strongly that one legal mistake should not affect a student for a lifetime.

Deltopia 2015 Safe Legal Guidelines

If you plan to attend, here are 12 things to keep in mind:

  • You must be 21 years old to legally consume alcohol.

  • Police will be at the event and if you are drinking and look underage, you will draw their attention.

  • Police will make arrests for underage drinking and for illegal drug possession if they encounter it.

  • Depending on the type and quantity of the drug involved, you can be charged with possession, which is a misdemeanor in most cases, or possession with intent to sell, which is a felony.

  • Police must have “probable cause” to arrest you, but only a “reasonable suspicion” to detain you for a brief period. Otherwise, police may portray their interaction with you as a “consensual,” which requires no justification.

  • You should always be polite and business-like when dealing with police. Nobody likes a wise guy, and hostility will be met with hostility.

  • If you feel you are being unfairly questioned, hassled or detained, you may ask: “Am I being detained?” If the police say you are, you should ask why. If they say you are not, you should ask: “Am I free to go?” You should speak loudly enough that people around you can hear you.

  • You do not have to answer a police officer's questions. You may say firmly and politely, “Officer, I choose not to answer.” Your right to remain silent is real. However, the police officer may not appreciate it.

  • You also have the right to refuse to be searched. You should always turn down a police officer's request to search your property or your person. Firmly and politely say, “No, sir (ma'am), you do not have my permission to search me (my backpack, car, etc.).” Again, this will not make the police officer happy, but he or she knows that it is your right.

  • If you are detained or arrested, do not resist. Ask that you be allowed to leave or to contact an attorney. Ask why you are being detained, why you are being searched, why you are being arrested and/or what you are being charged with.

  • If you are detained, searched and/or arrested, a companion of yours should record the encounter on his / her cell phone. Anyone has the right to do this, but the police may charge that it is interfering with their investigation and threaten arrest. It may be safer to do this from a distance.

  • Upon arrest, decline to answer questions until you speak to an attorney. Your response to every question should be to politely ask to contact a lawyer.

Please call Andrade Law Offices if you are arrested at Deltopia 2015 for drug possession, underage alcohol consumption, DUI or any criminal offense. We will respond quickly to assist you and can represent you moving forward. Depending on the specific facts, we may be able to have charges dropped, negotiate a fair outcome without going to court, or defend you at trial.

Have fun and stay safe if you choose to party at Deltopia 2015. But if you get arrested, help is a phone call away. Stay calm and contact Andrade Law Offices as soon as possible. Our offices are at 211 Equestrian Avenue in Santa Barbara.