Playing Pokémon Go Can Land You in Jail

Playing Pokémon Go Can Land You in JailPokémon Go has taken the world by storm. The mobile app, which allows users to “catch” Pokémon monsters in real time, has become so popular, it’s common to see players hunting their prey just about everywhere.

Since its release on July 6, the game has made headlines, and not always for good reasons.

Although the game has garnered praise for getting kids and young people off the sofa and outdoors, it has also drawn criticism for contributing to the “distracted pedestrian” and “distracted driver” problems that go hand in hand with smartphones. Several players have tripped, with one player suffering broken bones in his foot after walking off a small cliff.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has even issued a warning about walking while staring down at a phone. A woman in Pennsylvania reported her 15-year-old daughter was struck by a car because she was distracted by the game while crossing a busy road.

Other Pokémon Go players have landed in hot legal water while playing the game. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Maryland, don’t wait to speak to a Maryland criminal defense lawyer about your case.

Pokémon Go and the Law

Although most Pokémon Go players enjoy the app without breaking the law, the game has resulted in criminal charges in several cases. Stories have surfaced of players trespassing in an attempt to capture a Pokémon.

Two teens in Canada even accidentally crossed the U.S.-Canada border illegally when they wandered into the United States while playing the game. A Utah teen is facing a $200 fine for trespassing in an abandoned warehouse in search of Pokémon.

In a more serious case, an Arizona couple was charged with child neglect and other offenses after they left their toddler unattended so they could play Pokémon Go.

According to an NBC News report, the parents left their two-year-old son alone outside in 90-degree heat without water for over an hour. Police officers say they found the distraught child alone outside the couple’s residence at 10:30 p.m.

In Ohio, a man and woman have been charged with criminal trespass after they illegally scaled a fence at the Toledo Zoo’s tiger exhibit. The pair admits they climbed the fence at 1:30 a.m. because they were trying to catch Pokémon.

According to USA Today, the game has prompted a barrage of other crimes, both in the U.S. and abroad. Reports include stabbings, robberies, assaults, and sex-related offenses.

Playing Pokémon Go Safely (and Legally)

If you or a loved one has caught Pokémon Go fever, it’s important to play responsibly. If you’re a parent, make sure your child knows that entering another person’s property without permission can result in a trespass charge.

It’s also important to avoid playing any kind of game or app while driving, as this can be a major distraction behind the wheel. If you injure someone in a crash, you could face both civil liability as well as criminal charges. No game is worth your reputation or your freedom.

If you “gotta catch ‘em all,” remember to do so safely.

Call a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Fortunately, most Pokémon Go players follow the law while enjoying the game. When they don’t, however, they face very real and very serious consequences.

These cases may seem lighthearted because they involve a game, but police and prosecutors take them seriously, especially in cases when someone has been injured during a criminal act.

If you are facing any kind of criminal charge, don’t wait to speak to a lawyer. Get a Maryland criminal defense attorney working on your case right away.