You know well that you can get arrested for a physical altercation. Even if you were just defending yourself, the police may arrest you and the other party while they try to sort out who was the aggressor.
But what if an altercation never quite goes that far? Say you’re out drinking with your friends when you have a verbal altercation with another group. You’re all on the sidewalk outside of the bar, yelling at one another, when a police officer driver by. The officer gets out of the car and arrests you, along with a few of the other individuals at the scene.
Naturally, you feel like this is unfair and likely illegal. You didn’t break the law. How can you get arrested?
Your actions may be labeled as disturbing the peace
The truth is that you can get arrested in this situation, as the police can claim you were disturbing the peace. They can do this on the grounds that the altercation was loud, that it made others nervous, that it was offensive or that it was even a noise violation — just like loud music or a barking dog.
In some cases, you could also be arrested for assault. Remember that a credible threat to another party’s safety can count as assault even without physical contact. Precisely what you were yelling makes a big difference. The officer may claim you already assaulted the other party, but it just didn’t escalate to battery because the police arrived before it could do so.
Your options when facing criminal charges over a verbal fight
Are you facing charges and worried about your future? Call an experienced criminal defense attorney. You need to know exactly what options you have for a strong defense. One minor incident shouldn’t be allowed to define your entire life.