Participation in Riots
Participation in Riots can happen when people do acts of violence, threaten to do acts of violence, or just make a disturbance. Unlike a conspiracy, a riot can happen out of nowhere and everyone involved can be charged for rioting. You don’t even have to work together for a common goal. Just being in a riot is enough to be found in violation. Its important to note that although a protest is not considered a riot, any acts of violence or disturbance of peace will turn it into a riot. Although there are some related crimes, these are not considered participation in riots in of themselves. Inciting a riot is basically just instigating a riot. You yourself don’t actually have to take part in a riot, just cause one. An unlawful assembly is like a riot however its a gathering where people do something illegal or violent. Although a riot is like this in a sense, it applies to cases where there’s imminent violence. Failure to Disperse is closely tied with riots. This happens when authorities orders a riot or unlawful assembly to break off. Staying will get you arrested and charged. Although its true that you have freedom of assembly, authorities can do this if there is possibility of violence. Then there is disturbing the peace. This makes it so that it is a crime to use aggravation, fighting words, and unnecessary noise. This gives police the permission to arrest people under disturbing the peace rather than for rioting. unnecessary noise or unreasonable noise is considered noise that disrupts law enforcement that isn’t used to communicate.
Punishments for Participation in Riots
Being charged with a participating in a riot is a misdemeanor. You can see up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine. Judges will often grant probation instead with little or no jail time if the rioters stay away from the riot site and obey the law.
If you were charged with participating in a riot, speak to an attorney for possible options.