Disturbing the Peace in Orange County
Why were you charged? Orange County Criminal Attorney Explains.
Few people anticipate that they will be arrested for making too much noise or challenging an enemy to a fight; however, these are exactly the types of actions that most often lead to an arrest for disturbing the peace. By definition, disturbing the peace is generalized as behavior which proves to be unsettling to the proper public order of things. As such, any number of behaviors could result in criminal accusations of this nature, including:
- Loud music
- Challenging someone to a fight
- Insults that provoke violence
- Offensive language
The vagueness associated with charges for disturbing the peace have not gone unnoticed; however, arrests for this type of behavior continue to be made, thus creating problematic circumstances for the courtroom judges who hear such cases. In fact, because of the problematic nature of this type of charge, it is not uncommon for the jurisdiction of a court to favor the opinion of the law enforcement officer who made the original arrest or charges. Therefore, defendants must secure effective representation as soon as possible. In essence, they must enlist the support of an Orange County criminal defense lawyer at our office.
Accused of disturbing the peace in Orange County? Call today for a free initial case evaluation!
Using the Offense as a Plea Bargain
Not all persons who are convicted for disturbing the peace in California were originally sentenced with this charge. In fact, disturbing the peace is typically used as a plea bargaining tool among defense attorneys who are looking to reduce the sentencing that their clients currently face. Under the professional direction of a skilled legal representative, defendants who have been accused of more serious crimes could be penalized less harshly when the sentencing is dropped to charges for disturbing the peace instead. Good candidates for this type of reduction include those who have been arrested for domestic violence, lewd conduct in public, criminal threats, and / or prostitution / solicitation.
Per state law, a formal conviction for disturbance of the pace will result in no more than 90 days in jail and a $400 fine. These penalties, however, are rarely served to their maximum degree. In some cases jail time can be escaped altogether. When a defendant is looking at the significantly stiffer penalties of a domestic violence conviction or a lewd conduct conviction, however, the legal consequences for disturbing the peace could seem much more appealing. Rather than jeopardizing their reputation and professional careers, many defendants are more than willing to allow their lawyers to use disturbing the peace as negotiating tool for a lesser sentence.
Defending Against California Penal Code 415
California Penal Code 415 is the governing law that is used to charge, sentence, and convict persons of disrupting the peace. Within this law, however, are several subcategories, each of which denotes a more specific version of disturbing the peace. In the state of California, disturbing the peace can be criminally charged under any one of three very specific circumstances:
- Unlawfully fighting – Penal Code 415(1)
- Making an unreasonable amount of noise – Penal Code 415(2)
- Using fighting words – Penal Code 415(3)
Your charges for disturbing the peace will consequently reflect the nature of the subdivision in which your violation has been classified. That being said, there are a number of criminal defense methods that can be used to challenge an allegation of disturbing the peace; which line of defense is used on your behalf will be the decision of your Orange County criminal attorney.
Need a criminal attorney for a disturbing the peace charge in Irvine?
Some of the most common forms of defense for these types of criminal charges include lack of intent, constitutional protection, and false accusations. In order for a conviction to be made, the prosecuting attorney must be able to prove that your disturbance was willful, malicious, and intentional. Furthermore, the prosecution will need to demonstrate that your actions were in direct violation of the U. S. Constitution. Lastly, it must be shown that the accusations that were made against you were not done so falsely.
Defending against charges for disturbing the peace requires that your criminal attorney be able to argue that any one of the above circumstances was not so. If your attorney can prove that you lacked malicious intent to disturb or that you were engaging in a constitutionally protected activity, the allegations against you will be invalidated. Furthermore, if it can be proven that you were falsely accused or wrongly arrested for your behaviors, the charges will not stand up in court.