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Connecticut Criminal Charge Breach of Peace

by Joseph C. Maya on Aug. 11, 2017

Criminal Criminal  Misdemeanor 

Summary: A blog post about breach of peace in Connecticut and the penalties.

For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please call the offices of Maya Murphy, P.C. today at (203) 221-3100 or Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at

Under Connecticut law, if an individual is charged with breach of peace, the first question that must be asked is under what degree he or she is being charged; either first or second degree.  The degree of the charge pending against the Defendant will have a great impact upon both the elements that must be proven by the State, and also the possible fines and penalties that the Defendant may be facing.

A person is guilty of breach of peace in the first degree when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person places a nonfunctional imitation of an explosive or incendiary device, or an imitation of a hazardous substance in a public place or in a place or manner likely to be discovered by another person. (C.G.S. §53a-180aa).  A charge of breach of peace in the first degree is a Class D felony and could result in significant jail time of at least one (1) year, and fines.

For the purposes of interpreting the language of first degree breach of peace, the term “hazardous substance,” means any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substance or matter which, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics, may cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible or incapacitating reversible illness, or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health.  The term “public place,” is defined to mean any area that is used or held out for use by the public whether owned or operated by public or private interests.

A much more common charge is the charge of breach of peace in the second degree.  A person is guilty of breach of the peace in the second degree when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person: (1) engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a public place; or (2) assaults or strikes another; or (3) threatens to commit any crime against another person or such other person’s property; or (4) publicly exhibits, distributes, posts or advertises any offensive, indecent or abusive matter concerning any person; or (5) in a public place, uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or (6) creates a public and hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which such person is not licensed or privileged to do.

As is evident in the description of the elements of the crime, breach of peace in the second degree is much broader in its definition of prohibited conduct and can be more universally applied to individuals and their actions.  However, breach of peace in the second degree is classified as a Class B misdemeanor which can result in fines and jail time less than one (1) year.

If you have been arrested and charged with breach of peace, contact the experienced criminal law attorneys today at 203-221-3100, or by email at  We have the experience and knowledge you need at this critical juncture. We serve clients throughout Connecticut and all of Fairfield County, from Greenwich and Stamford to Westport and Bridgeport.

Source: C.G.S. § 53a-180aa

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