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How Much Does a Disturbing the Peace Charge Cost?

Per the California Penal Code 415, disturbing the peace can be charged as either a felony, misdemeanor, or a noncriminal infraction. 

Depending on the severity of the disturbance of the peace crime committed and the accused's exact actions, the prosecutor decides how to charge the activities and what type of penalty has to go along with the charge.

In California, you can receive a charge for disturbing the peace if: 

  • You start an unlawful fight in a public place.
  • Disturb the peace of a person or a group of people with a loud noise.
  • You use foul language or offensive language in a public place in an attempt to incite violence.

If you commit any of the above illegal acts, you can expect to be penalized under the law with either: 

  • A fine of up to $400.
  • Imprisonment in a state county jail for up to 90 days.
  • Both a penalty and imprisonment. 

Disturbing the Peace Penalties

Violating this section of California’s penal code is considered a wobbler offense. This means that it can either be charged as a noncriminal infraction or a misdemeanor, and the penalties are not too severe. Essentially, what kind of charge you will receive depends on several factors:

  • The facts surrounding the case - if more of your actions led to other crimes or more severe consequences, the penalty may be more significant.
  • Your criminal history - second-time offenses and other previous charges may also lead to more severe punishments.

However, the maximum sentence you can receive for violating CPC 415 is up to 90 days in jail, up to $400 in fines, or both. 

The exception; however, is Penal Code 415.5, which is prohibited by disturbing the peace at a college, university, or school grounds. 

If you are not a student or a staff member, the penalties for causing any disturbance on school grounds are the same as those under the California Penal Code 415. However, if you have any prior criminal offenses or convictions that also took place on a college campus or school grounds, then the minimum penalty you may receive is three months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. 

If you have been charged with disturbing the peace as a misdemeanor, the first thing you should do is talk with a lawyer in your region. Doing so will help you avoid more significant penalties and will ensure you get a proper defense. If you are a first-time offender and the crime isn’t severe, you may even get charged with a noncriminal infraction instead of a misdemeanor. 

Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law group patiently await your call.

H Law Group Online

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