breach of the peace

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Breach of the Peace

A comprehensive term encompassing acts or conduct that seriously endanger or disturb public peace and order.

A breach of the peace was a common-law offense, but is presently governed by statute in many states. It is frequently defined as constituting a form of Disorderly Conduct. Examples include using abusive or obscene language in a public place, resisting a lawful arrest, and trespassing or damaging property when accompanied by violence.

Statutes commonly require that conduct constituting a breach of the peace must be clearly a type of misbehavior resulting in public unrest or disturbance. As an example, a prostitute who solicited men walking by on a public street from her window was found guilty of breaching the peace, but a man who raised his voice to a police officer while the officer was issuing a ticket to him was not guilty of the same offense.

A breach of the peace is synonymous with a disturbance of the peace. Jurisdictions that do not have a specific statutory provision for the offense may punish it as a form of disorderly conduct. The usual penalty imposed is either a fine, imprisonment, or both.

breach of the peace

n. any act which disturbs the public or even one person. It can include almost any criminal act causing fear or attempting intimidation, such as displaying a pistol or shouting inappropriately. (See: breach)

See: brawl, fracas, infraction, outbreak, outburst, riot

breach of the peace

the crime of behaving in a disorderly fashion causing harm or likely to cause harm or generally disturbing the peace. Its wide ambit can raise human rights points.

BREACH OF THE PEACE. A violation of public order; the offence of disturbing the public peace. One guilty of this offence may be held to bail for his good behaviour. An act of public indecorum is also a breach of the peace. The remedy for this offence is by indictment. Vide Pace,