About half a million people make their way to the Daytona Beach Bike Week motorcycle event and rally every year for a 10-day event. Dubbed the “World’s Largest Motorcycle Event,” police activity is high during the March event. Law enforcement closely monitors criminal street gang activity and motorcycle gangs to stop any crimes, which can often turn violent. While being in a motorcycle gang itself is not illegal, gang members are often arrested on suspicion of stealing motorcycles or motorcycle parts, drug trafficking, and involvement in violent crimes.
The following arrests are commonly made during Daytona Beach Bike Week:
- Gang violence: Some of the motorcycle gangs known to come to Daytona Beach Bike Week include Hells Angeles, the Mongols, Outlaws, Pagans, Vagos, Son of Silence, and Bandidos. In April 2017, an Outlaws motorcycle gang member was stabbed to death in Daytona Beach, and the killer is still at large. In May 2017, a member of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club was shot dead. Further crimes have been attributed to motorcycle gangs throughout Florida and nationwide.
- Assault and battery: Heated confrontations between rival motorcycle clubs and gangs can start physical fights in an instant. Assault is the intentional threat to cause physical harm, while battery is the actual act of intentionally touching someone without their consent, typically involving violent physical contact.
- Drug crimes: Charges may include possession, distribution, and trafficking. As recently as February 2019, the Pagans Motorcycle Club was charged with trafficking hundreds of grams of meth on the streets of Florida. Suspects were caught through FBI and DEA investigations involving undercover drug purchases.
- DUI: Bike Week features many beer tents, allowing for guests to unwind and have a few laughs with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. With the full slate of events, celebrations, and parties, motorcyclists can easily get caught up in the excitement and forego essential safety to avoid a DUI arrest.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime during Bike Week, our criminal defense lawyers in Daytona Beach are here to help protect your future. We will do all we can to secure the most favorable outcome on your behalf, so you can avoid conviction or serious penalties. We even take cases from non-Florida residents, representing you in court, so you don’t have to travel back and forth from your home state to attend hearings.
Charged with a crime during Daytona Beach Bike Week? Contact us at Hager & Schwartz for a free consultation at (386) 693-1637.