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Public Order Offences

Public Order Offences covers a wide range of offences from drunk and disorderly all the way up to riot.

If you are arrested or charged with an offence such as drunk and disorderly, affray or disorderly behaviour, contact me as soon as possible.

Below are outlined some of the offences and how they are dealt with.

Disorderly Conduct

This is generally defined as the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour.

Disorderly conduct does not require violence, actual or threatened.

Disorderly conduct is a more minor offence and can therefore be dealt with by the Magistrates Court.

The maximum penalty for disorderly conduct is a fine, however repeat offenders can face an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) which can have serious consequences if breached, including imprisonment.

Drunk & Disorderly

This is simply being drunk in a public place and guilty of disorderly behaviour. 

Drunk and disorderly is also generally classified as a minor offence and it can only be dealt with by the Magistrates Court with a maximum penalty of a fine. 

Affray

Affray is defined when someone uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another and his conduct is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety. The behaviour must be directed against an individual and cannot be against property. The offence can be committed in a public or a private place, including your own home. There must however ‘be more than mere words’ for the offence to have taken place.

Affray a more serious crime and can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court, depending on the circumstances. It can result in a penalty of imprisonment.

Violent Disorder

Violent Disorder is where three or more persons use or threaten unlawful violence and the conduct of them (taken together) would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their personal safety.

In these circumstances each of the persons using or threatening unlawful violence is guilty of violent disorder.

This offence may be in a public or private place.

Violent Disorder is a serious offence and it can be dealt with by the Magistrates Court or Crown Court, depending on the circumstances, and it can result in a penalty of imprisonment.

Riot

Riot is a unique offence as it is defined as twelve or more persons (present together) who used or threatened unlawful violence for a common purpose; and that the conduct of them was such as to cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety.

Riot is the most serious Public Order offence and can therefore only be dealt with in the Crown Court. 

The maximum penalty for Riot is ten years' imprisonment and/or a fine of an unlimited amount. 

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