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Criminal Behavior in California


Getting arrested for an offense can have serious consequences for your future. It could impact your job, your children, and even your freedom.

Using offensive language, fighting without the right to do so in public and disruptive loitering are examples of disorderly conduct. If you are being charged with these offenses, your attorney can help you fight the charges. Learn more about legal protection against criminal behavior in California.

Disorderly Conduct

A number of seemingly minor criminal activities are classified as disturbing the peace under California law. Whether or not the charge is true, having it appear on your record can affect your job prospects and make life difficult for you. A qualified Her Lawyer attorney can help you fight the charge of disorderly conduct.

Fighting in public, playing music loud enough to disturb neighbors late at night, and using racial or ethnic slurs in a verbal argument are some common examples of disturbing the peace offenses. However, even if the accused knew their actions could disrupt others, they may be charged with this crime if the prosecution can prove that they had malicious intent when they committed the acts in question.

Other activities that can be charged as disorderly conduct include being too intoxicated to be in public, peeping in locations where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and disruptive loitering. If the accused can prove that they were acting in defense of others or themselves, they can get the charges against them dropped.


The right to protest is protected at the federal and state level, but sometimes these peaceful demonstrations can become riots. If you are charged with rioting or inciting others to riot, your lawyer will work to show that you did not encourage violence or property damage and were not merely urging a crowd to engage in this activity.

The federal rioting statute makes it clear that incitement is not the same as simply advocating ideas or expressing beliefs, but rather implying a willingness to commit forceful or violent acts. A conviction for inciting a riot could result in significant jail time and fines, as well as a criminal record that can be seen by employers or landlords who conduct background checks.

For this reason, you should get started on your defense strategy by contacting the legal team at Simmrin Law Group as soon as possible. Our team includes a former Deputy District Attorney with 14 years of prosecutorial experience.

Refusal to Disperse

If a public officer gives an order to disperse, then someone remains at the scene of the riot or unlawful assembly and refuses to leave, they can be charged with a misdemeanor offense. The law also criminalizes fighting, making loud and unreasonable noise or using offensive words on school property or grounds.

This is a serious charge that can result in a fine of up to $1,000 or jail time for six months, or both. A skilled Los Angeles, CA criminal defense lawyer could help to get this charge reduced or dismissed.

The constitution gives people the right to assemble in groups and discuss common issues, but the assembly must not be unlawful. In addition, police officers must make a general proclamation for individuals to leave the area and they must be sure that everyone is clear on what is being asked of them. If the officers did not use these terms or make a clear and precise order, then a defendant should not be convicted of this crime.

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure is the portion of California law that makes it illegal to expose your private parts to others in public places where people are likely to be offended or annoyed. It also states that you must be engaging in this behavior with a lewd intention. A convicted conviction can result in significant fines and jail time, as well as being required to register as a sex offender for ten years.

The state law defines your “private parts” as male genitals, penis and scrotum, female genitals and buttocks, or breasts. Indecent exposure is typically prosecuted as a sex crime. To be prosecuted, prosecutors must prove that you exposed your private parts for the lewd intention of arousing or gratifying another person sexually or sexually offending them. If the offense also involves entering a home, trailer or other inhabited dwelling without consent, it can be charged as aggravated indecent exposure. A first-time conviction of this charge is a misdemeanor.


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