Disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor crime in Massachusetts. It is defined in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Chapter 53. The penalty for disturbing the peace in Massachusetts is a fine and a possible conviction on a criminal record. If a police officer sees someone disturbing the peace they may be arrested on the spot.
What is Disturbing the Peace?
If you have been charged with disturbing the peace in Massachusetts, the prosecutor must prove three elements. The first element the prosecutor must prove in order to convict someone of disturbing the peace in Massachusetts is that the person acted in an unreasonably disruptive way. The second element the prosecutor must prove is that the defendants acted intentionally. The last element requires the prosecutor to prove at least one person was annoyed or disturbed.
Acting in an unreasonably disruptive way could mean making loud noises, throwing objects into a crowded area, fighting, or asking others to fight are a few examples.
Using offensive language on its own is not a violation of Massachusetts Disturbing the Peace statute. However, if the language is not protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution it is a violation of the Disturbing the Peace law. Slander, and fighting words are two examples of language that is not protected under the First Amendment
Massachusetts Criminal Attorney for Disturbing the Peace
There are many legal defenses to disturbing the peace charges in Massachusetts. A Massachusetts criminal lawyer can argue many different defenses to help you defend yourself against this criminal charge.
Massachusetts criminal attorney Patrick Donovan is a former Assistant District Attorney. Attorney Donovan has successfully helped many people fight their criminal charges including disturbing the peace.
Patrick Donovan is a Massachusetts criminal lawyer who uses his experience as a prosecutor to fight for the best possible results. Attorney Donovan has appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts. Call today for a free no-obligation consultation.