Posted on 20/07/2016
The recent phenomenon sweeping the globe is, of course, Pokémon Go. The location based augmented reality mobile game has thousands of Queenslanders out and about in attempt to catch those elusive Pokémon.
Whilst the app has been praised for getting people out and about it is leading some users into locations where they should not be using their mobile phones. Whilst it may be amusing for some to capture, battle and then train their new Pokémon in a Court room there can be serious consequences for those who chose to do so. Persons found using devices capable of recording the Court proceedings or posting screens shots of their Pokémon hunting’s may face fines in excess of $850.00 or one (1) month imprisonment. In other States, such as New South Wales the penalties are even more severe with fines of up to $22,000.00 or 12 months imprisonment, or both.
In addition there has been a recent increase of people complaining on social media of Pokémon Go Trainers entering private yards in an attempt to catch themselves a Pikachu. Joe Wicking, Criminal Lawyer with Moloney MacCallum Lawyers has warned people not to enter private property in an attempt to catch Pokémon. “Persons found on private property may be charged with offences such as trespass if they enter the property without permission. What may seem like a simple and innocent act could see a person before a Court”. In the United States warnings have also been issued to those who are wandering onto Military bases in their hunting frenzies.
Mr Wicking has also issued a warning against attempting to play the game and drive at the same time. “The use of handheld devices is against the law, this includes the use of mobile phones for the purpose of playing games, even when stopped at traffic lights. Playing Pokémon Go while driving may result in fines of $365.00 and 3 demerit points and that’s assuming you don’t cause an accident”. Mr Wicking warned that accidents caused by persons playing Pokémon Go and driving may result in serious criminal charges such as dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and even personal injuries claims.
At the end of the day thing such as going to court or driving are not games, when hunting for Pokémon make sure that you are in an appropriate and safe environment, don’t risk fines, goal or injuries to yourself or others for the sake of a game.