Quality of Life Crimes
Also known as disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace, quality of life crimes are often a "catch all" charge for numerous actions or behaviors that are considered a threat to an individual's sense of personal safety and diminish the quality of life in the area, such as public drunkenness, fighting, or even lewd conduct. In many cases, a person is wrongfully charged with a quality of life crime simply because a police officer misconstrued his or her actions as obnoxious or offensive.
While quality of life crimes are generally charged as misdemeanors, the repercussions can be serious and long-lasting. If you or someone you care about is facing charges for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, or threatening public order and morality in California, you have the right to fight back. Contact Ventura criminal defense attorney Daniel E. Kann to build a strong case on your behalf and protect your name, reputation, and future. To schedule a free case evaluation, call The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann at (888) 744-7730.
What are Quality of Life Crimes?
Since this category of crime is vague and often based on moral judgment, a wide range of acts and behaviors can lead to an arrest if a police officer considers your behavior disruptive or offensive, regardless of whether the actions pose a danger to the public. Under California Penal Code Section 647 and Section 415, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace include the following types of actions:
- Soliciting and/or engaging in prostitution
- Public drunkenness or intoxication
- Loitering in certain places
- Fighting or challenging another to fight in public
- Loud or unreasonable noise
- Using obscene or abusive language
- Public urination
- Gang activity
- Cruelty to animals
Many of these activities are criminalized because they are believed to diminish the quality of life in the local area, whether by deteriorating the physical appearance of the area, encouraging similar activities, and decreasing property values.
Penalties for Quality of Life Charges
Depending on the circumstances, most crimes that are viewed as a threat to quality of life are charged as misdemeanors, which can include a 90 day jail sentence, heavy fines, probation, and a permanent criminal record. These may seem like minor consequences, but even a misdemeanor charge on your criminal record can take away certain privileges and impact your future opportunities, such as finding a job, maintaining custody of your children, and obtaining loans. You should not take such repercussions lightly.
Defense Against Quality of Life Charges
At The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann, our skilled Ventura defense team is dedicated to protecting you from wrongful charges and will work tirelessly to preserve your rights. No matter what crime you have been accused of committing, you are entitled to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. To learn more about your legal options and our strategies for defending you against quality of life charges, please do not hesitate to contact us as soon as you can.