Schools are supposed to be places where people should be able to express themselves and manifest their views. There are situations when kids or visitors may intend to make purely political statements, performance art, or just harmless pranks in ways that can lead to unwarranted criminal charges. In Utah, you can be accused of “disrupting the operation of a school” under a broadly defined statute. You may be charged if the school officials deem it disruptive. The consequences of being charged for violating this law can be severe because it’s classified as a Class B misdemeanor. If found guilty, the defendant can be sentenced to jail for up to six months and $1,000. An attorney can explain the consequences of being charged with this class of misdemeanor and guide you as to options regarding the penalties and if it’s possible to erase the charges from official records. The process of a criminal defense can seem overwhelming, but with the right legal representation, you can appease your concerns and achieve the best result possible.
If you or loved one was arrested for disrupting the operation of a school, you should consult with an experienced Utah Crime 76-9-1-6 attorney today. There can be unexpected and sometimes severe consequences in having a criminal record as a result of these charges. Experienced attorney Darwin Overson can help you assert your defenses and avoid unjust charges. He is a skilled and accomplished attorney in criminal defense and will seek all possible venues, reduction of criminal charges as well as dismissal. To schedule your free legal consultation, call us at (801) 516-0464.
Criminal Defense for Utah Crime 76-9-106
Criminal defense attorneys have an essential task in parsing out the events and determining if there are any defenses available that will help the accused “defendant” achieve the best outcome possible. There can be many factors at play in events leading to someone being charged for disrupting a school. All these factors are important and should be mentioned during a consultation. A criminal defense lawyer can craft a viable defense. There are options available for criminal defense attorneys in Utah to seek acquittals and other favorable outcomes.
How Disrupting the Operation of a School is Defined
The crime of disrupting the operation of a school can lead to biased or unfair charges because there is a great deal of discretion conferred to the school official in charge of determining the actions deemed disruptive.
An act considered a form of protected speech can be deemed as disturbing the peace. Since there are no references or guidelines as to the types of disruptive actions prohibited under the statute, there is a vast number of possibilities when someone can be unfairly charged for violating this statute. The law states:
“A person is guilty of disrupting the operation of a school if the person, after being asked to leave by a school official, remains on school property for the purpose of encouraging or creating an unreasonable and substantial disruption or risk of disruption of a class, activity, program, or other function of a public or private school.”
The school official has a lot of influence over the decision as to what actions are “unreasonable” or cause “substantial disruption” or “risk of disruption.” When a law doesn’t inform as to the specific acts that can be prohibited, it can be challenged in court as unconstitutional. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can look at the facts surrounding the incident and determine whether official made a fair accusation. There are instances when students just try to make statements in legitimate protest or pranks that may seem disruptive to school officials but are meant to catch the attention of their peers.
Don’t allow anyone to define your rights or impose unfair assumptions as to the type of actions considered “disruptive.” A consultation with a criminal defense attorney can help you make educated decisions before agreeing to a plea or making decisions that can haunt you or some you loved for a long time. There are ways to challenge charges under such broad statutes, especially when the person a law is too vague that can be easily confused, such as when protected freedom speech guarantees can be at risk. Not all laws are constitutional because they are written in books. Skilled criminal defense lawyers deal with this problem on a regular basis. It’s critical to present a strong opposition to broad statutes that can have an impact on constitutional guarantees.
In addition, the definition of “school property” is another element that is wide in scope. “School property” includes property being used by a public or private school for a school function. Under this definition, a school can be a park or any other public place used by a school. A broad interpretation can create situations of injustice when educational events take place in public areas. Protected speech cannot be prohibited fancifully or unjustly.
Call Criminal Defense Attorney Darwin Overson for Charges of Disrupting a School
If you have been charged for disrupting a school, call Overson Law today for an objective and thorough review of the charges against you or your loved one. People can be unjustly accused of disrupting a school, and they deserve aggressive legal representation securing and protecting rights at stake. Darwin Overson is known for his proactive approach to helping clients concerned that an unexpected turn of events and will stand prepared to defend you at every stage. To schedule your free legal consultation, call us at (801) 516-0464.