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,

References in periodicals archive ?
Fusilier William Sewell, 21, from Manchester, was cleared of grievous bodily harm, malicious damage and breach of the peace.
Sentence was deferred for reports when McGill, of Govan, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court and admitted assault and breach of the peace.
A few months later he got caught up in a fight involving his friend and a gang of youths and got a second breach of the peace charge.
Roberts, who appeared separately wearing a white Tshirt and jeans, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of breach of the peace and will be sentenced in six months.
The 46-year-old former Marine, and his girlfriend, Melanie Roberts, 34, both from Bournemouth, were arrested on Thursday as they approached Edinburgh Roberts, who appeared separately wearing a white T-shirt and jeans, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of breach of the peace and will be sentenced in six months.
Three appeal judges heard Maguire had convictions including one for religious aggravated breach of the peace at an Orange march.
He was arrested for breach of the peace and is undergoing assessment under the Mental Health Act.
Lance Corporal William Sewell, 21, from Manchester is charged with grievous bodily harm, malicious damage and breach of the peace.
A SAUCY student has been charged with breach of the peace for lap dancing in a thong in her home.
At Glasgow sheriff court last month the 30-year-old former featherweight champion admitted breach of the peace and resisting arrest.
Gough, 46, from Bournemouth, stood naked in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, where he denied the charge and claimed walking naked did not constitute a breach of the peace.
Carol Naughton, aged 48, from Erdington, was found guilty of a breach of the peace for her part in a protest at the Trident nuclear weapons base in Faslane, near Glasgow.