Stamford Breach of Peace Lawyer
Breach of peace is a common criminal charge in Connecticut because it covers such a wide variety of ordinary circumstances. Yelling at someone in public, getting baited into a heated physical or verbal fight, or even joining a peaceful protest can lead to circumstances resulting in a breach of peace arrest.
Unfortunately, while the situation may be common, the consequences of this offense can be highly problematic. A conviction, or even the arrest and charge itself, become a matter of public record accessible to anyone, and can negatively impact opportunities for employment, housing, loans, insurance and more. That is why it is essential to take the charge seriously and work with an experienced defense attorney right away. When you meet with a Stamford breach of peace defense attorney, they can advise you how to proceed to achieve the best possible result.
Types of Breach of Peace Arrests
Connecticut law sets forth two classes of breach of the peace. The less serious, breach of the peace in the second degree, is a Class B misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000.
The more serious version of the crime, breach of the peace in the first degree, is classified as a Class D felony. In addition to the complications of a felony conviction, the crime also carries a minimum prison sentence of 1 year with a maximum of 5 years and a fine of up to $5,000.
Second Degree Breach of Peace
Connecticut code defines conduct that can be considered breach of peace in the second degree. One essential element of a Stamford arrest for breach of peace second degree is that the individual must either be acting to intentionally “cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm” or acting so recklessly that the behavior creates a risk of causing inconvenience, annoyance or alarm.
Stamford attorneys see arrests for second-degree breach of peace in Stamford if an individual acting either recklessly or with intent engages in one of the following types of conduct:
- Fighting or similarly threatening behavior in a public place
- Assaulting or hitting another individual
- Threatening to commit a crime against another person or their property
- Publicly posting or distributing information about another that is “offensive, indecent or abusive”
- Using “abusive or obscene” language or gestures in public
- Creating in public a hazardous or “physically offensive condition” without permission
Because some of these situations require that the behavior occur in a public place in order to be considered breach of the peace, it is helpful to know that a “public place” is defined as “any area” used by the public or offered to the public. It does not matter whether the property is owned by a private party.
First Degree Breach of Peace
In contrast to the variety of situations that can trigger a violation of breach of the peace second-degree arrest in Stamford, the circumstances involved in a first-degree breach of the peace charge are much more specific.
First, the individual must have the same intent or reckless conduct as for second-degree breach of the peace. Second, to get arrested for first-degree breach of peace, the individual must place a fake bomb or imitation hazardous substance in a public place or in a place where it is likely to be found by others. A lawyer in Stamford could help if you have been accused of breaching the peace in the first-degree.
Contacting a Stamford Breach of Peace Attorney
Because intent is such an important element of the crime of breach of the peace, the statements and conduct of an individual charged with that crime are of tremendous importance.
Stamford breach of peace lawyers can provide advice on how to navigate proceedings in the safest manner to work toward a successful outcome in your case.