Return of the Gasparilla Pirate Festival

Who doesn’t love a bit of pirate folklore and festive celebration? The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is an exciting time for the city of Tampa. It can also be a notoriously rambunctious and rowdy one as well. There is often a spike in arrests around the time of the festival, from DUI and BUI charges to violent crimes and theft offenses. While you may think you won’t get into any trouble this weekend at Gasparilla Pirate Fest, you need to be prepared to face stricter and heavier law enforcement.

Embracing the “Invasion” & Avoiding Trouble

The “invasion” will be starting at 11:30 a.m., with the country’s third largest parade officially starting at 2:00 p.m. The legendary pirate Jose Gaspar and his crew of 750 “swashbucklers” will be taking over Tampa Bay to create a day of pirate-themed events. The event is regularly attended by as many as 300,000 onlookers, all of who are likely to engage in plenty of the festive activities offered, from live music to entertainment to food to hearty drink.

What Types of Offenses Are Common at Gasparilla?

From misdemeanors to felonies, all types of charges have been leveled during this event. In fact, in 2010 alone, there were 415 arrests. While numbers have decreased over the years, with just 131 citations and 68 arrests in 2013, 42 arrests in 2014, and 24 in 2015, it is still just as important as ever for attendees to seek counsel if they run into legal trouble.

Some of the most common offenses we see during the festival:

The sooner you speak to a defense lawyer in Tampa about your case, the stronger they can build your defense. Our firm has represented numerous clients in such cases related to Gasparilla. We have often found that law enforcement violated the rights of our clients or did not follow proper protocol during the arrest. While individuals may think they just need to pay the ticket and move on, they may not realize they are admitting guilt to their charges! You will have a criminal record from such offenses, which is why you need to speak to a skilled Tampa attorney if you’ve been arrested at Gasparilla.

Thomas & Paulk has resolved thousands of cases for clients over the years. If you’ve been arrested or cited for any type of violation at this year’s Gasparilla Pirate Festival, call our firm at (813) 321-7323.