In Louisiana, disturbing the peace is classified as a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to 90 days or six months behind bars. However, the repercussions can last long after your sentence has been completed. With a conviction on your record, applying for jobs or even traveling outside the country can become more cumbersome.
Disturbing the Peace Charges
The most common reason officers arrest someone for disturbing the peace is public intoxication. Other forms of disturbing the peace include: fighting; using offensive language to annoy other individuals; holding an unlawful assembly; interrupting a lawful assembly; disrupting a funeral, memorial or burial; intentionally impeding or blocking a funeral, memorial or burial.
Fighting Your Disturbing the Peace Offense
For the state to prove its case, the prosecution must establish that (a) your conduct was on purpose or (b) you were acting with malicious intent. It’s not enough to be annoying, there must be evidence that your actions could incite public disorder or violence.
Often, the evidence used in a disturbing the peace case is the arresting officer’s observations. Of course, this relies heavily on subjective thoughts and feelings. A defense attorney could initiate interviews with eyewitnesses to determine if your actions truly fit under the label of “disrupting the peace.”
J. Bradley Cockrell is an experienced Lafayette defense attorney who has helped clients successfully resolve their charges of disturbing the peace. If you have questions about your specific situation, please complete our online form for a free consultation with Attorney Cockrell.