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Rub elbows with celebrities (not a criminal defense lawyer) at the 2015 Arnold Classic

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Get your power bars without ending up behind bars

When attending the annual Columbus event, the Arnold Classic, you may expect to meet UFC fighters, watch bodybuilding contests, get autographs from professional wrestlers and score a bag of free supplements.

What isn’t in your plans is to spend the night in a jail cell.

Gatherings like the Arnold Classic, while fun and exciting, can double as a hotbed for criminal activity. The most unsuspecting of attendees could end up behind bars if they aren’t mindful of their actions.

Steer clear of criminal charges by avoiding these compromising situations:

Assault

It’s not surprising that the Arnold Classic is chock full of testosterone and machismo. After all, a primary attendee demographic is muscular guys looking to get more muscular. With all of the flexing and chest puffing, a plethora of alpha males concentrated in one area could result in violent situations.

Many event-goers will be visiting bars in the Arena District and Short North areas, and the combination of alcohol and adrenaline could get ugly.

It’s best to be polite to everyone and not engage with people who seem to be drunk and aggressive. There will be people who are looking for any reason to fight, but even if even if someone throws the first punch, and you fight back, you can still be charged with assault. That’s why, if you notice that someone is acting out or being pushy, remove yourself from the situation.

Illicit substances

If you see someone at the Arnold Classic with muscles that look too big to be natural, then there’s a chance they are. Steroid use is rampant in sports like bodybuilding and weightlifting where the goal is to get as big as possible, whatever the cost.

Some may attend events like the Arnold Classic to find that extra edge to help them lift a few more pounds. However, selling, distributing and even possessing anabolic steroids is illegal, and can be punishable by a $1000 fine or up to one year in prison.

Remember, if anyone offers to trade or sell you a substance that you don’t trust, it’s advisable to decline the offer.

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Sex trafficking

This one might sound out of left field, but sex traffickers like operating at big sports festivals and male-dominated events. In fact, this year, the non-profit group SOAP (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) is running an awareness campaign entitled ‘S.O.A.P. Up Arnold Classic’ in order to attempt to help victims of forced prostitution.

Be on the lookout for anyone who randomly approaches you or others and quickly offers to go to a hotel room.

You can still be arrested for being an active participant of a sex trafficking act, even if you’re unaware that the person’s intention is to sell sex (like at an Asian massage parlor, for instance). Prostitution and sex trafficking is illegal in Ohio, and can result in a third degree misdemeanor to a fourth or fifth degree felony, depending on the circumstances.

Additionally, if you think someone is a victim of sex trafficking, please report it to the authorities or the human trafficking hotline at (888)373-7888.

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Get ahold of a Columbus criminal defense lawyer

If you’re arrested and charged with a crime this weekend at the Arnold Classic, don’t try talking to the police by yourself. You need experienced, qualified representation from a Columbus criminal defense lawyer. Yavitch & Palmer will listen to your side of the story, look over all of the facts and work to get you the best result possible.

Call Yavitch & Palmer at 614-224-6142, or make an appointment at our downtown Columbus office using our online contact form today.

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