Don’t Face Fines or Jail Time for Disturbing the Peace
In New Orleans, Disturbing the peace is one of the most common offenses prosecuted in Municipal Court. Conviction can result in fines and even jail time. You could also have a criminal record if convicted, which could impact your ability to pursue your education, obtain employment or even volunteer in certain fields.
At Bloom Legal can help when you face criminal charges. We have extensive experience defending clients in Municipal Court proceedings. We know the system inside and out and can work to help you reach the best possible outcome.
What is Disturbing the Peace?
Under Louisiana law, disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor criminal offense. A variety of behaviors can result in an arrest including:
- Public intoxication
- Using offensive or derisive words to address another person
- Fist fighting or other physical fighting
- Interrupting three or more people who are lawfully assembled
- Disrupting a funeral proceeding
- Inciting a riot
- Engaging in a violent activity with three or more other individuals
There are many situations where police may arrest you even if you do not believe you are doing anything wrong. Some of the offenses that result in a disturbing the peace charge require a subjective assessment of your behavior, and it can be difficult to determine if you were actually violating the law.
The prosecutor has the burden of proving that you are guilty of disturbing the peace, and you can avoid conviction if a prosecutor is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you broke the law. You may also be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to avoid a criminal record or jail time and to minimize the penalties that you face.
Disturbing the Peace by Fighting
One of the most common reasons to be arrested for disturbing the peace is fighting. When you are charged with this crime, you face misdemeanor criminal charges and fines as much as $500. For a first offense, it is even possible you may have to spend a night in jail. You may also face other potential penalties including probation, community service and required counseling.
Fighting can result in a criminal record that affects future employment opportunities, in addition to the other penalties you face. You do not want to let a simple mistake or a drunken fight affect the rest of your life. It is important to defend yourself or to negotiate a plea bargain. The best way to do this is by hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The professionals at Bloom Legal can help you to understand your options.
You can be arrested for fighting if law enforcement witnesses an altercation and determines that you are creating a public disturbance. The altercation is not always fighting, although a physical disturbance most often takes this form. Shouting and cursing can also lead to a disturbing the peace violation.
Additional Charges Resulting From Disturbing the Peace by Fighting
In some cases you may face additional criminal charges if you were involved in a physical altercation. Police responding to the scene or witnessing a fight may strive to determine if and which of the parties involved in the fight initiated the physical contact and if any involved individuals are guilty of assault or battery.
If you struck, injured or made threats against someone, the victim may also wish to press criminal charges. A conviction for assault and battery can be more serious than a conviction for disturbing the peace.
You need to understand the extent of the criminal charges you face as well as the potential penalties that could result from the charges against you. You cannot ignore a charge of disturbing the peace by fighting, as failure to respond to a summons to court could result in a judgment entered against you and a warrant issued for your immediate arrest.
You must respond proactively and work to negotiate a plea bargain or defend yourself against the charges. A criminal defense lawyer at Bloom Legal can help you arrange a deal with a prosecutor, enter a diversion program, or defend yourself at trial. Our goal is to get the most favorable outcome possible while minimizing the cost of your defense and limiting your time spent in court.
The professionals at Bloom Legal know that a simple fight or exchange of heated words can quickly get out of hand. We are here to help you respond in the best way possible when you are charged with disturbing the peace by fighting.
Get Help from an Experienced Attorney
An attorney at Bloom Legal can assist you in understanding your options and choosing the best response to your charges.
When you are faced with this type of criminal charge, you likely want the issue to be resolved as quickly as possible with a minimum of time spent in court or in your lawyer’s office. This is especially true if you are arrested while visiting New Orleans from out of town.
Bloom Legal has extensive experience representing clients who have been accused with disturbing the peace. We will work to help you avoid conviction, penalties and a criminal record while resolving the criminal charges in a timely and efficient manner. We will do our best to keep you from having to appear in court and minimize the time you spend dealing with the charges, while helping you avoid conviction and protect your good name and reputation.
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Hear What Our Clients Have To Say
I contacted Bloom Legal out of the blue with a strange question for a fiction series I’m writing that takes place in New Orleans. Being from Maryland I was in the dark and needed assistance and they jumped at the chance to help me (they were the only law firm that responded to my e-mail). His team worked quickly and carefully to find the information I needed. Because of the help they provided it changed a large aspect of my novel and for that I am very grateful.
Posted by: Sarah Perrie