Posted in Assault FAQ'S on April 15, 2015
Penal Code § 415 is disturbing the peace in one of three ways.
PC 415(1) is willfully fighting or challenging another person to fight in public. Persons who use “fighting words” to “provoke an immediate violent reaction” from someone, but don’t engage in physical fighting may be charged with PC 415(3). Finally, PC 415(2) is for willful or malicious noises that annoys or disturbs others.
Below are some frequently asked questions our lead defense attorney Graham Donath receives regarding Penal Code § 415(1), disturbing the peace by fighting in public:
In California, PC 415(1) / Disturbing the Peace by Fighting is always a Misdemeanor. This means that by law, it can only be charged as a misdemeanor and cannot ever be elevated to a felony.
However, our defense attorneys may be able to lower the misdemeanor offense to an infraction. Unlike a misdemeanor, an infraction is a civil matter, meaning there’s no criminal conviction, jail penalties or record. Generally, infractions may be “earned” or accepted after completed community service hours, admittance into AA meetings, anger management classes, etc. Afterwards, the defendant may plead “no contest” to infraction of Penal Code § 415. The typical punishment for infractions is monetary funds.
No; Disturbing the Peace by Fighting is not a “Strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law.
If convicted as a Midemeanor, punishment could include:
• Up to 90 days in jail
• Up to $400 in fines
• Criminal Protective Order (Restraining Order)
• Up to 5 years of Summary (informal) probation
• Participation in a Batterers Program
If convicted a second time, punishment may include:
If you’ve been charged with Disturbing the Peace in California, contact the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC for a free consultation. Donath will review your charges in a free, one-on-one consultation, outline various defense strategies and possible outcomes and immediately begin working on clearing your name of all charges.