Top Columbia Falls, MT Disturbing the Peace Lawyers Near You
Disturbing the Peace Lawyers | Kalispell Office | Serving Columbia Falls, MT
1830 3rd Ave E, Suite 302, Kalispell, MT 59901
Columbia Falls Disturbing the Peace Information
Lead Counsel independently verifies Disturbing The Peace attorneys in Columbia Falls and checks their standing with Montana bar associations.Our Verification Process and Criteria
- Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
- Good Standing Be in good standing with their bar associations and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
- Annual Review Submit to an annual review to retain their Lead Counsel Verified status.
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What Is Considered Disturbing the Peace?
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.
Disorderly Conduct vs. Disturbing the Peace
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.
What Is the Punishment for a Disturbing the Peace Charge?
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.
Can I Go to Jail for Disturbing the Peace?
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.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Disturbing the Peace Charges in Columbia Falls?
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.
Disturbing the Peace Legal Help
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.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
How will an attorney charge me?
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:
- Bill by the hour
- Contingent fee agreement
- Flat fee agreement
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.
Common legal terms explained
Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.