Disturbing the Peace Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Lewes, DE
115 S Bedford St, Suite 2, Georgetown, DE 19947
Disturbing the Peace Lawyers | Bethany Beach Office | Serving Lewes, DE
209 5th St, Bethany Beach, DE 19930
Lead Counsel independently verifies Disturbing The Peace attorneys in Lewes and checks their standing with Delaware bar associations.Our Verification Process and Criteria
Disturbing the peace occurs when a person or group causes excessive continued noise that disturbs or endangers the peace and safety of others. The noise can be caused by almost anything. It is most often a minor criminal offense and can result in a criminal record.
Disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor offense, largely prosecuted at the local or the state level, in which an offender breached or disturbs the public peace.
This disturbance can come by way of fighting or brawling in public, obstinately interfering with business operations, screaming or shouting relentlessly in a public area, becoming overly raucous or rambunctious to the point of disturbance or any other variety of factors. Given that disturbance of the peace is a broad charge with many different names and behaviors associated with it (breach of the peace, for example), it is difficult to strictly categorize.
While both acts are generally committed in public, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace are generally similar, both being considered misdemeanors as a result of unlawful and unwanted public behaviors.
While disturbing the peace is a broad charge, disorderly conduct is even broader. Squatting unlawfully in a tenement or apartment, prostitution or solicitation of prostitution (in certain jurisdictions) and begging or panhandling can be considered disorderly conduct. While disturbing the peace charges hinge more commonly around the idea of actually causing a public excitement or scene as a result of the offender’s actions, disorderly conduct does not always have this element.
Given that disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor rather than a felony in almost all instances, the typical penalty for those found guilty could be a jail term of 30 days to six months, and fines ranging from $200 to $1,000 or damages caused as a result of the offense. A probationary period, community service, addictions counseling or other considerations may be added to the sentence at the discretion of the court.
Some states classify disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace as similar enough to fall under the same umbrella of a second-degree misdemeanor. Those found guilty of these sorts of offenses could face up to six months behind bars in addition to a potential $500 fine.
By contrast, some states consider disturbing the peace to fall under the broader category of disorderly conduct as well. Disorderly conduct is considered a violation, rather than a criminal act (misdemeanor or no), and the maximum penalty is 15 days in jail as well as a small fine.
In most jurisdictions, you can be sentenced to a jail term of between 14 days to six months in response to a conviction for disturbance of the peace or disorderly conduct.
If you are facing charges related to any disturbance of the peace or disorderly conduct offenses, it is highly recommended that you retain legal counsel at your earliest opportunity.
A skilled criminal defense attorney familiar with such charges can consult with you to determine the best path forward, perhaps negotiating with prosecutors to avoid trial entirely.
Despite the fact that some jurisdictions do not consider disturbance of the peace or disorderly conduct to be criminal matters — therefore excluding the possibility of a criminal record if you are found guilty — many jurisdictions do. Even in states where the matter is considered a violation rather than a misdemeanor, you could still be facing a short period in jail as well as punitive fines if you are found guilty. An experienced attorney can make sure that all options are presented to you with professionalism and care, improving your odds of making an informed and well-founded decision as to how best to proceed with your case.
If you are charged with this offense, do not hesitate to contact a disturbing the peace lawyer. This applicable law varies between jurisdictions and prosecutors and judges may be tough or lenient. The lawyer will know how authorities handle these cases in your area, evaluate the circumstances and develop your defense.
No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.