Fairfield Breach of Peace Lawyer
It is surprisingly easy to violate breach of the peace laws in Fairfield. Incidents such as being caught in the middle of a fight or argument in a public place, gesturing at a reckless driver, or joining in a political march can trigger a criminal charge.
Unfortunately, while it is easy to violate the law in the this area, it is difficult to avoid unwanted consequences from that violation. While the offense may be classified as a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances, the potential penalties still include up to six months in jail and a heavy fine.
So if you have been charged with breach of the peace, it is important to understand the charges and take decisive action. A Fairfield breach of peace lawyer can explain how the laws apply to your particular situation and help you work toward the best possible resolution of your case. Contact an experienced assault attorney right away.
Defining Acts of Intent
Although Connecticut statutes define two different breach of the peace offenses with different degrees of severity, they both share one element in common. Each crime requires an individual to act with a particular type of intent in order to be found guilty of a violation.
In order to constitute breach of the peace, an individual’s actions must either be committed with the intent to annoy, alarm or inconvenience another person, or committed with reckless disregard as to the possibility of causing such annoyance, alarm or inconvenience.
Felony Breach of Peace Offenses
Breach of the peace in the first degree is defined in Section 53a-180aa of the Connecticut code and is considered a Class D felony. As a Fairfield breach of peace lawyer knows, violators are subject to a minimum prison sentence of one year up to a maximum of five years and may also face fines of up to $5,000.
This offense occurs when an individual places a non-working, imitation explosive device (i.e. a fake bomb) or an imitation hazardous substance in a location where it is likely to be found by others, such as in a public place. If this substance or device is placed with the intent to bother or frighten others, or placed with reckless disregard as to whether it would annoy or scare others, then such conduct constitutes first degree breach of the peace.
Misdemeanor Peace Violations
Breach of peace in the second degree is defined in Section 53a-181 of the Connecticut code and is treated as a Class B misdemeanor. Violators are subject to a maximum term of imprisonment of six months and a maximum fine of up to $1,000.
This statute sets forth six different situations that constitute breach of peace in the second degree if they are committed with intent or recklessly as described above. The circumstances that may trigger a violation are:
- Using obscene language or gestures in public
- Publicly posting offensive, indecent or abusive material about another
- Threatening to commit a crime against another person or property
- Assaulting or striking another individual
- Fighting, or engaging in tumultuous or threatening behavior in public
- Causing dangerous or offensive situation in public without proper license or permission
It should be noted that a public location may actually be under private ownership. A location will be considered public if it is property that is open for use by the public.
Need for a Fairfield Breach of Peace Attorney
In breach of the peace cases, the intent of the parties involved is a key element in determining guilt or innocence. An experienced Fairfield breach of peace lawyer will know how to collect, preserve and present evidence regarding intent and other factors in order to build a strong defense. An attorney will guide you through the entire legal process and advocate on your behalf to reach the optimum outcome in your case.