Breach of Peace
Also known as a public disturbance, breach of peace is a term that encompasses a wide range of behavior, with the only criteria being that it serious endangers or disturbs public peace and order. It is generally subcategorized as a form of disorderly conduct.
Virtually anything that threatens the public or even one person can lead to this sort of charge. Typical examples of actions that constitute a breach of peace include:
- Using abusive or obscene language in public
- Resisting lawful arrest
- Trespassing on private property, accompanied by violence
- Displaying a firearm
- Attempted intimidation
- Unlawful assembly or rioting
- Forcible entry and detainment
While the actions listed above are fairly specific, in most states, breaches of peace are governed by broad statues. This means that even something as vague as inconveniencing or annoying someone, alarming another person, or recklessly creating a situation of risk can be called breaches of peace.
The range of punishments for breaches of peace is just as wide as the scope of the charge itself. Many smaller infractions are considered misdemeanors, but fines and jail time are not uncommon in breach of peace cases. Below is a short list of some punishments for public disturbances:
- Fines ranging from $100 – $1,000
- Community service
- Programs of treatment or rehabilitation (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous or anger management classes)
- Jail time, usually 30 days or less
- Loss or suspension of driver’s license
For more information on effectively fighting a charge of breaching the peace, contact experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyer [firm-name] today by calling [phone-number].