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Arrested in a Protest?

You have rights as a protester that could mean the difference between your freedom or conviction.
The constitution gives you the right to freedom of speech and assembly, and demonstrations can cause positive change in the world. But, in the heat of the moment, law enforcement may violate your rights by looping you in with those who failed to follow the laws of peaceful assembly. Their negligence should not mean you face misdemeanor charges, changing your life for the worse in a second. If you were arrested during a San Diego protest or demonstration, you have rights that deserve protecting. Connect with our San Diego criminal defense attorneys today and schedule your free, no-obligation case consultation.


California Unlawful Assembly and Riot Laws

Though the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ensures the right to freedom of assembly, if a meeting is violent or poses an obvious and current danger or imminent violence, you could be found guilty of a criminal offense. Even if the gathering was initially peaceful, just remaining in a group that turns violent or unlawful is enough for you to face an unlawful assembly charge.
California legislatures define “unlawful assembly” as "whenever two or more persons assemble together to do an unlawful act, or do a lawful act in a violent, boisterous, or tumultuous manner, such assembly is an unlawful assembly." If you have been charged with “unlawful assembly” in California, you could even be charged in connection with related crimes, such as rioting, incitement to riot, disturbing the peace, and failure to disperse. If you have been charged with unlawful assembly or a related charge, you could face severe penalties from the court.

San Diego Protest Leads to Riot

Recent events show extremes of how a peaceful protest can turn into criminal charges for hundreds of people in California. On May 31, 2020, protesters in downtown San Diego marched in honor of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man, at a “Justice for George” event. But the protest dissolved into riots as protesters turned the demonstration into acts of violence.
Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer pushed his knee on his neck, has inspired a wave of demonstrations across the country, the people of all ages and races calling for justice and chanting “black lives matter.” However, some protesters have abused the power of assembly and acted out in aggression on police officers and the community. Police officers first stepped in and issued an unlawful assembly order after observing aggression in parts of the crowd.
"Unlawful assembly order being given in the area of Broadway. We are asking everyone to disperse immediately due to the escalation of violence by the protestors," the San Diego Police Department said through Twitter.
While some dispersed peacefully, the police department needed to use tear gas to disperse what they called the remaining, “aggressive crowd.” Protesters threw rocks at law enforcement and vandalized police vehicles, the violence intensifying as the day went on. Rioters broke off from other protestors to vandalize businesses in the area, loot stores, and even commit arson. Dozens of cars and two banks in the La Mesa area were burnt down during the riot, the unrest fueled by anger over police mistreatment of African Americans.
From the rioting, over 1000 protesters have been arrested in San Diego and may face criminal charges. These people may now face charges that will be on their permanent record forever and could impact future opportunities.

San Diego Unlawful Assembly Penalties

Unlawful assembly is usually a misdemeanor under common law and statutes. Misdemeanors carry heavy penalties, many of which can change your life for the worse in an instant. Being found guilty of unlawful assembly could result in the following penalties:
Legal Fees
Loss of Employment
Jail time
Misdemeanors are still considered crimes, and they stay on your criminal record for life. This can impact your ability to get a job, apply for a loan, and rent property in the future. To ensure you have your best chance at justice and having your charge dropped, connect with our experienced criminal defense lawyers today.
Seasoned criminal defense lawyers know what rights protesters have even in the face of a “unlawful assembly” charge, so having an attorney with the legal know-how to battle the court is crucial so your case has its best shot at success. Connect with the Law Offices of Randy Grossman today to learn about your legal rights after facing an unlawful assembly charge.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When peaceful assemblies turn violent, sometimes it is hard for police offices to tell “who did what,” leading to quick charges and arrests. There are defenses that criminal defense lawyers have successfully used to defend clients in cases like this, such as:
The group at hand was not committing violence
There was not a clear threat of imminent violence
If an assembly became violent a person was part of a peaceful faction of the assembly that was acting lawfully
A person was not given enough time or opportunity to leave the group before being arrested.
If one or any of those circumstances apply to your case, you could have your charges dropped by the court. To speak with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney, contact the Law Offices of Randy M. Grossman today.

Our Lawyers Defend Your Rights

Ensuring you have experienced, aggressive representation on your side is vital when facing unlawful assembly or rioting charges. The Law Offices of Randy M. Grossman are committed to providing effective, personalized legal representation for ever case we take on. You can count on us for:
Effective Defense
Our experienced unlawful assembly defense attorney can potentially help you get the charges dropped by examining the circumstances of your case and arrest. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Randy M. Grossman have extensive experience researching and strategizing defenses in criminal law: we can provide the effective expertise you need when facing your unlawful assembly charges. Contact us today to get your free case evaluation.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only.  Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advise for any individual case or situation.  This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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