Sziget Festival in Budapest – first party then criminal procedure
As a local in Budapest living in the centre, you don’t have to check the calendar or read the news: you will realize, when it is „Sziget season“. The city is full of young – or not so young – people who come here to have fun and enjoy music, party and life. Well, sometimes I think you could take off your big rucksacks while traveling on the metro or look around a bit and pay more attention to elderly joggers like me. But apart from that Sziget season is fine. It brings color and good mood to the city. And a different atmosphere than the xenophobe climate Hungarian government is recently trying to spread.
But Sziget also brings some kind of trouble to a number of partiers. Because Hungary is following a „zero tolerance“ approach towards any kind of drugs, including „soft drugs“. And quite a lot of Sziget visitors get caught with them.
Do not ask me, why Hungary – as very many countries – tolerate when people blow off their brains with alcohol and follow a very strict course, when it is about other substances. This is not for me to decide. And I do not want to comment here.
What I can tell you here is that if you got caught and you realize there is some kind of criminal procedure coming up against you, do take it seriously! Hungarian authorities can be dealt with, even if they sometimes seem not really too fair towards suspects. I have heard a lot of justified complaints about this. But – at least in my experience – latest the courts are fair. They are bound, of course, by strict laws. The court procedure – if it comes to that – will be fair. Strict, but fair.
What is by far the worst you can do is not to take it seriously. A criminal procedure in Hungary is a serious thing – and if you ignore it, they will make you realize that they are serious:
If you ignore summons from Hungary – I have written a lot about that here already – or do not answer official letters, there might be a bad ending to your story. I am not saying this to scare you, but Hungarian Courts are quick to issue a European Arrest Warrant – even for comparatively trifles. I have seen that many times.
You do not have to mandate me. There are numerous good criminal defenders in Budapest and the rest of Hungary who speak good English. You will find them on the internet.
What is important is that you do your part, look for a colleague who write in English in his/her website, get into contact with him/her, make sure s/he understands you fully and the other way round and get rid of the trouble through the lawyer.
The money it costs is a pain in the neck, we are all aware of it. But, believe me, it is well invested money. And this money saves you a lot of trouble, energy, sleepless nights. To you and your loves ones. Believe me.
If you need me, you can contact me here.