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California Penal Code 415 Disturbing The Peace

August 19, 2016 California Penal Code

The act of disturbing the peace in covered under California penal code 415. It is a useful tool in the California judicial system. The charge can be utilized to create a plea bargain for a variety of low-level charges. It can also help the accused avoid experiencing negative consequences in their employment and more. Disturbing the peace has been able to help individuals avoid a criminal record for simply having poor judgment.

Definition
California penal code 415 can be described in three different ways. Disturbing the peace is intentionally fighting in a public place or challenging another individual to a fight in a public place. It can also be defined as unreasonable amount of noise. This is the willful and malicious disturbance of the peace by creating noise that annoys or disturbs other individuals. It can also include the act of saying fighting words. These are words intended to cause an immediate violent reaction from another person in a public place.

Infraction
Depending on the circumstances, a charge of disturbing the peace can be a misdemeanor charge or an infraction. When an individual is charged with an infraction, they can plea no contest as a civil matter rather than a criminal one. It is then not considered a criminal conviction. When an individual accepts an infraction charge, they will usually only be required to pay a fine at the court clerk’s office.

Misdemeanor
A charge of misdemeanor disturbing the peace can result in a criminal conviction. The maximum sentence a person can receive when convicted is ninety days in the county jail, a $400 fine, or both. This will be determined by the seriousness of the situation. An experienced attorney can help their client get summary probation. This means their client will not have to spend time in jail.

Self Defense
If it is determined that a person was defending themselves during an altercation, they can’t be charged with disturbing the peace. Under California law, if a person has reasonable belief that another person is going to harm them, they have a legal right to defend themselves. They must believe force was their only option for protection in the situation. The individual must also show they only used the necessary amount of force to protect themselves.

Malicious Noise
It is not uncommon in California for people who have large gatherings at their residence to be charged with disturbing the peace. In this situation, a prosecutor will have to prove the accused intentionally generated noise that was unreasonably loud. The noise had to have disturbed another person. Most persons are found guilty if it can be proven the noise was used to disrupt lawful activities. If it can be proven the noise created a situation where there was a danger of violence, the accused can also be found guilty.

Defense
An attorney will know how to defend a charge of disturbing the peace. When the facts of the charges are carefully reviewed, they will know how to help. A lawyer will know how to show their client wasn’t generating noise in a willful or malicious manner. They can show there was no desire to create violence in the situation. It is also possible for an attorney to show their client was the victim of a wrongful arrest. When charged with disturbing the peace, it’s important to contact an experienced lawyer immediately.

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