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What is a Breach of Peace Charge?

Posted on : October 25, 2018

Have you recently been accused of breach of peace in Connecticut?  

Not sure what this means and whether or not you need a criminal defense attorney?  A person can be charged with breach of peace under Connecticut law without realizing the full extent of the allegations.

The first question that you must immediately ask is to what degree you are being charged – first or second degree.  The degree of the alleged charge will have a significant impact upon the elements that must be proven by the State, as well as the possible penalties and fines the defendant could face upon conviction.

Breach of peace in the first degree in Connecticut is a class D felony, and carries a maximum penalty of  5 years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. The offense occurs when a person 1) intends to cause inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or 2) recklessly creates a risk of causing inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, 3) by placing a non-functional imitation of an explosive or incendiary device, or an imitation of a hazardous substance, in a public place or in a place likely to be discovered by another person.

Breach of peace in the first degree is the more serious offense, but it is not commonly charged.  It is much more common for a person in Connecticut to be charged with breach of peace in the second degree.   

Breach of peace in the second degree in Connecticut is a class B misdemeanor, and carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.  This offense occurs when a person 1) intends to cause inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or 2) recklessly creates a risk of causing inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, by

  • engaging in fighting or in violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior in a public place;
  • assaulting or striking another;
  • threatening to commit any crime against another person or their property;
  • publicly exhibiting, distributing, or posting, or advertising any offensive, indecent, or abusive matter concerning any person;
  • using abusive or obscene language or gestures in a public place; or
  • creating a public and hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that one is not licensed or privileged to do.

As you can see, the crime is broadly worded, and easily violated.  If you find yourself accused of breach of peace in the first or second degree in Connecticut, time is of the essence. You definitely should retain a lawyer to analyze your case, protect your rights, and prepare your best defense. Contact J. Christopher Llinas for help today.

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