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Breach of the Peace in Connecticut

Posted on in Criminal Defense

CT defense lawyerBreach of the peace is a crime that sounds antiquated as if no one has been charged with it in decades. Unfortunately, the reality is that it is a common crime even today, and people are charged with it for something they may see as inconsequential - for example, playing one’s music too loud, or using obscene language in public. If you are charged with breach of the peace, you must try to understand the charge against you and contact an attorney who can help to ensure your rights are protected.

What Is A Breach?

Breach of the peace in Connecticut can encompass a lot of different actions, from aggressive or threatening behavior to making threats against a person or their property, to committing assault or battery. (Note that assault and battery are two different causes of action - assault is committed when someone is put in imminent, reasonable fear for their own safety, while the battery is the actual physical contact that perpetuates that fear.)

Generally, you have a chance to be charged with a breach of the peace if you are engaged in behavior that may potentially pose a threat to public safety or to the “peace” of the neighborhood. The relevant law discusses the “intent to cause inconvenience” or alarm, or “recklessly creating a risk” and causing a “public and hazardous or physically offensive” condition. Intent and the degree of hazard in the situation you are involved in will make a difference.

Second-Degree Is More Common

There are three degrees of breaches of the peace. First-degree is rarely charged, as it involves planting a fake bomb or other nonworking but hazardous-looking device in public with the intent to frighten people. The more common charge is second-degree breach of the peace, which in Connecticut is seen primarily in the context of domestic violence arrests - loud noise after a certain hour, using obscene language in public, and other events that breach the peace of the neighborhood are sadly all too common in these contexts.

If you are charged with second-degree breach of the peace and it does not involve domestic violence, you may face up to 6 months in jail plus a $1,000 fine. If you are charged with domestic violence-related offenses, you will almost certainly face a far stiffer sentence; the stakes are infinitely higher in that context. Still, breach of the peace is nothing to sneeze at; like any other crime, a conviction will stay on your record unless expunged, and with it on your record, you may be seen as less trustworthy by future landlords or employers.

Can a Stamford Breach of the Peace Lawyer Help?

It can be confusing to find that you have been charged with breach of the peace, especially if you are dealing with other legal troubles. However, you deserve a zealous advocate in court to protect your rights. Experienced Fairfield County criminal attorney Weiner has experience with these types of cases and is ready and willing to try and guide yours to a good outcome. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 today to schedule a consultation.