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Home » Public Safety Violation Lawyer » Disturbing The Peace Lawyer

California Disturbing The Peace Attorney – Penal Code 415 PC

Are You In Need Of A Disturbing The Peace Attorney?

Has a police officer charged you with disturbing the peace or a similar crime? Are you afraid of how a criminal conviction may ruin your career goals and reputation? Are you worried about how it may impact your life? If so, put these concerns to rest, but don’t sleep on your rights. My Rights Law experienced public safety violation lawyers have a knack for getting charges dropped and cases dismissed. If you want expert legal representation, hire the best criminal defense attorneys California offers. Call us at (888) 702-8882 or contact us through our secure web form to take advantage of your free consultation today.

Current news events discuss disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct. Are these terms interchangeable? Do they carry the same punishment and consequences? You may be confused about the differences between these crimes. You may not know which behavior falls under each charge. Well, make no mistake that disturbing the peace is a separate crime from disorderly conduct. Disturbing the peace is a serious offense that can leave you with a criminal record. You may think your actions are for the greater good, but the state may disagree. Please keep reading below if you’d like to learn more about Disturbing the Peace?

What Is Disturbing The Peace?

Disturbing The Peace PC occurs when you:

  • Unlawfully challenge someone to a fight in public
  • Fight in public
  • Maliciously and willfully bother someone via loud and unreasonable noise [1]
  • Use offensive words that are likely to provoke an immediate reaction (e.g., violent response)[2] [3]

How do you act maliciously? You act maliciously when you do something wrong purposefully or to annoy or injure someone purposefully. You act willfully when you do something voluntarily or purposefully. Otherwise, noise can be unreasonable when it occurs during regular sleep hours. It can also be unreasonable during public events that request silence or low volumes, such as an outdoor Tai Chi class.

Examples of this crime include:

  • Yelling racial slurs
  • Yelling sexist slurs
  • Yelling gender slurs
  • Picking a fight with someone on a sidewalk or in a grocery store
  • Opening your window to blare loud music in the direction of a neighbor you dislike [4]

What Are The Penalties?

Disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $400. This is true whether your actions took place on school grounds or elsewhere in public.

Is Disturbing The Peace An Expungable Offense?

The penal system doesn’t allow expungements for all crimes. Fortunately, you can get disturbing the peace expunged from your record if the state convicts you. However, you must meet certain conditions first. You must complete your sentence, including probation. Bear in mind that you may request early release from probation to apply for expungement sooner. But also, you cannot have any outstanding fines before you apply. You must not have any active warrants, arrests, or other criminal cases before you seek expungement.

Please be aware that the court may reject your expungement application.

What Are My Defenses?

There are defenses to every charge, and the prosecutor is required to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. Common defenses to this charge are below. Contact our law firm for more strategic defenses sessions tailored to your case, including First Amendment free speech laws.[5]


You have a right to defend yourself. This law does not forbid you from protecting yourself if someone hits you first or threatens your safety. Thus, self-defense is a strong and viable defense to this crime. Of course, the true perpetrator will likely argue that you struck first. In this case, eyewitness accounts are helpful to prove that you are the victim and only did what was reasonably necessary to protect yourself.

Not Malicious Nor Willful

Let’s say you did the action the prosecutor accused you of doing, like making a loud and disruptive noise under poor conditions. However, your reason for making the noise wasn’t for the reasons the prosecutor is now accusing you. Thus, you may argue that your actions had a different reason for maliciousness. For example, you may argue that you made unreasonably loud noise to alert others to an emergency.

Suppose you lost sight of your child in the middle of the night. You screamed out your child’s name and honked your car horn continuously, hoping your child would return. As aggravating as the noise may have been, a court could hardly find your actions malicious—no matter how much they could’ve disturbed your neighbors.

Mistaken Identity

“It wasn’t me” may sound like a lie that sneaky children tell, but it is also a legitimate defense against most crimes. Unfortunately, eyewitnesses get it wrong and mistake people for others all the time. False identification is especially true when the arrests occur days or weeks after the alleged incident. Suppose someone claimed you beat up a person at a local bar. Maybe even local news channels showed surveillance footage of a person who looks like you. However, you aren’t the perpetrator.

When this happens, demonstrating inconsistencies in the assailant’s description and yours help prove the police have the wrong person. Even contradicting eyewitness accounts, such as a friend or relative confirming you were home or elsewhere, are beneficial to your case. If you’re a victim of mistaken identity, don’t lose hope. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help prove your innocence. If you have been accused of disturbing the peace, a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney at My Rights Law can advocate for you.

Do I Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Although you may think a misdemeanor charge is a light offense, you should take it seriously because a misdemeanor conviction could bring serious consequences. Do not assume that prosecutors will reduce the charge to an infraction automatically. Therefore, it’s vital to your freedom to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

A criminal defense attorney can use a disturbing the peace charge as a bargaining tool in a plea deal for a more severe charge. For example, suppose officers arrested you on a domestic violence charge or for committing lewd conduct in public. These charges carry more severe penalties, which are likely to negatively impact your gun ownership rights and child custody rights and possibly require you to register as a sex offender. A skilled defense team can get the prosecutors to agree to the lighter charge of disturbing the peace. Moreover, if this is your only charge, a qualified lawyer can get it reduced to an infraction or dropped entirely.

Why choose My Rights Law? My Rights Law is an award-winning firm. Our lawyers have combined decades of experience that are necessary for favorable outcomes. Rest assured, we put the odds back in your favor. Don’t wait. Call us at (888) 702-8882 or contact us by completing our secure web form to take advantage of your free consultation today.

Other public safety crimes we defend include: Public Intoxication

[1] In re Brown (1973) 9 Cal.3d 612
[2] California Penal Code 415 PC
[3] In re John V. (1985) 167 Cal.App.3d 761
[4] CALCRIM No. 2689
[5] See, for example, Rosenbaum v. City & County of San Francisco (2007) 484 F.3d 1142

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