Breach of Peace
The Connecticut charge of Breach of Peace in the Second Degree 53a-181 is one that is very frequently used by Police under a wide range of situations. In fact it is one of the most common charges for which arrests are made in Connecticut. It can cover a huge variety of crimes, everything from a domestic violence case, a bar room brawl to a road rage incent. For this reason it is known in the bar as a “catch all” statute, meaning that it covers such a wide range of behaviors and actions. The fact that some of the behaviors that the statue covers may seem so harmless often leaves clients off guard about the significant consequences that come along with a conviction for a charge of Breach of the Peace which is a misdemeanor. You can face a criminal record, possible jail time and probation, fines and difficulty securing future employment as a result of having a record for a conviction for breach of the peace. If you have been charged with breach of the peace you should seek immediate counsel with a Stamford breach of the peace defense attorney at the Law Offices of Allan F. Friedman who can guide you through the process and work to have the charges dismissed or reduced.Why Choose the Law Offices of Allan F. Friedman?
- Arrests don’t happen during business hours therefore we are available 24/7 – 365 days a year
- Over 30 years of experience defending criminal charges
- We fight for your rights and focus on results that work
- Free initial consultation case evaluation
- Reasonable rates / payment plans
- Our core value is “Clients come first” – we will take time to work hard on your case with the goal to get you the best result possible
The statutory citation for Breach of Peace in the Second Degree is 53a-181 it is a class B misdemeanor. The crime itself requires a first element of a mental intent or a reckless disregard to “cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm...“ combined with a second element of one of the following acts:
- Assault, strike or threaten another person
- Threaten to commit a crime against another persons’ property
- Publicly post, distribute or display obscene or offensive material
- Use vulgar or profane language in a public place
- Make an obscene gesture in a public place
We can see by the actions covered by this statue that on a day to day basis in Connecticut we observe people breaking this law all the time. For example, in your typical road rage someone gets cut off. The other driver gets mad and with the intention to annoy the other driver gives an obscene gesture such as yelling some vulgar words or giving the middle finger. This could be charged as a breach of the peace. When the Police are called to investigate a dispute between parties engaged in a heated argument, if it is a non domestic situation the Police have a lot of latitude about how to handle the situation and in most cases will try to avoid issuing summons if cooler heads prevail and if everyone calms down. Be advised that in domestic violence calls the Police are required by law to arrest everyone involved so that is an exception. It is important to remain calm when the Police have arrived. Always remember that you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions without a lawyer present. Everything that you say can and will be used against you. Often the Police do not have enough evidence to make an arrest because they were not present during the incidents and rely on the admissions of the parties to proof the case and supply the State with enough evidence to prosecute the case. If you remain silent and ask to speak with an attorney before questioning it is possible that they may not have enough evidence to charge you. At the very least the case against you will be much weaker than if you were to start answering questions and making admissions of criminal activity. This is particularly the case with breach of the peace which requires proof of a mental state as an element of the crime.Defending Breach of the Peace Charges
If you have been arrested for breach of the peace then you should contact a Stamford criminal defense lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in handling the defense of the breach of the peace allegations at the Law Offices of Allan F. Friedman. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Many times the Police may elect to not go through the process of driving you downtown to the Police Station and “booking you” on a breach of the peace charge. They may issue you a criminal misdemeanor appearance summons instead. Make no mistake this is also an “arrest.” You will have a criminal arrest record as a result even though you never went down to the police station and even though the Police officer may have never placed handcuffs on your or read you your rights. You have just been charged with a misdemeanor and MUST appear at Court to answer the charge on the date indicated on the summons.
The great thing about breach of the peace charges is that due to the very nature of the charge itself it lends itself to whole range of dispositions which are very favorable and which will leave you with no criminal record. The first step is to contact a Stamford criminal defense attorney to have an in depth review of all of the facts of your case and develop a strategy to resolve your charges. The next step is to have your attorney obtain and review the police reports to review all the statements of all the witnesses and the Police’s allegations.
At this point your Stamford criminal defense lawyer will be in a great position to counsel you on the best way to proceed with your case. Often with breach of the peace cases we can reach out to the victim or if the other party has been arrested the co-defendant’s attorney and agree on mutual nolles meaning both sides agree to drop the charges. Often the State’s Attorney is receptive to these kind of negotiated global solutions in these kind of cases. Also, in many cases we have been able to negotiate a dismissal of the charges in exchange for some community service hours. Depending on the facts of the particular case a reduction of the charges to the noncriminal infraction of creating a public disturbance may be in order as a way to avoid a criminal record while preserving your option to use the accelerated rehabilitation program opportunity in the future. The accelerated rehabilitation program in my professional opinion should only be used as a last resort with a charge as minor as breach of the peace and only after every other possible alternative means of resolving the case has been explored.Let Us Fight Your Breach of the Peace Charge!
Your initial consultation is always free. When you schedule your free initial consultation we will review all of the facts of your case. We have more than 30 years of experience in working in Courts all over the State of Connecticut. We will discuss the goals of our representation which are usually a dismissal or a reduction of the charges. In many cases having an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney to defend your case can make the difference in having that matter dismissed or reduced down to a lesser charge.
Our legal fees are very reasonable flat fee rates. There are no surprises, we work with written retainer agreements and everything is laid out in black and white.
If you been arrested for breach of the peace in Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Cos Cob, Fairfield, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Bridgeport and throughout the County of Fairfield do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Allan F. Friedman. We work on a flat fee basis and our rates are reasonable. Call Attorney Friedman at (203) 357-5555 to schedule your free initial consultation we are available 24/7 - 365 days a year. Or you can contact us online for a prompt response.