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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    26

    Default Can I Be Arrested for Taking Photos in a Theatre

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: WA

    I attended a dance school dance recital in a theatre. They sent each parent an email stating that no videography and no flash photography are allowed. Implying that photography without flash are allowed.

    So I took pictures without flash. But in the middle of the show one of the staff approached me and said no photography allowed and if I didn't leave the theater immediately, he would call the police and have me arrested.

    The situation eventually cleared up after a second staff was consulted. I was allowed to continue.

    Supposed there were no second staff to clear things up, would the police make an arrest based on one staff member's word (against mine)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Can I Be Arrested for Taking Photos in a Theatre

    Quote Quoting evident
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    Supposed there were no second staff to clear things up, would the police make an arrest based on one staff member's word (against mine)?
    If I would have been the police officer called, I would ask questions before an arrest.


    1st, to be charged with trespassing, the person asking you to leave must have at least "apparant authority" to demand it. I would have asked who was in total charge over him and ask to speak to him or her first.

    Since you had a person there, it seems another had also "apparant authority" to also have custody and contol of the facility.

    I assume it was a paid event? Even if it was not, when asked to leave such, if it is a public school event, the Due Process Clause of the 14th AM may be triggered if you were banned?


    I would say to the staff member, if all you did was to take a picture, flash or not, I would not consider that probable cause to arrest for trespassing if you did not leave right then. NOW, if the conduct was repeated, then a trespass notice to leave would be valid.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can I Be Arrested for Taking Photos in a Theatre

    Law enforcement isn't likely to have any grounds for arrest based on taking photos, but they could absolutely escort you off the property, and once properly warned not to return, they could arrest you for trespass if you came back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Can I Be Arrested for Taking Photos in a Theatre

    Yep. Taking the photos would not have been the crime. But, assuming the staff had the legal right to request that you leave, had you refused to leave you could have been arrested for trespassing.

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