Are You Allowed to Swear at a Police Officer in Colorado?
Is swearing at a police officer considered Disorderly Conduct in Colorado jurisdictions like Jefferson and Adams County? Well, apparently police officers think so, even though such language is clearly protect by our First Amendment right to free speech.
Can You Be Arrested for Cursing in Public in Adams County?
Colorado’s Disorderly Conduct law (C.R.S. 18-9-106) encompasses a lot of so-called disorderly behavior, including speech that “tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” This type of language, which the Supreme Court has determined is not protected by the First Amendment, is commonly referred to as “fighting words.” However, merely cursing at another person, including law enforcement is not enough to amount to fighting words.
However, the Centennial, Englewood, and Sheridan police, believing that they are above our constitutional protections, keep charging people with Disorderly Conduct for swearing at them or “flipping them the bird.” They might want to be careful though, seeing as how one such man who was charged with Disorderly Conduct was awarded a $20,000 settlement after he sued Boulder County.
Dismissed Disorderly Conduct Case in Colorado
Our law office was once hired to defend a client who faced speech related charges out of a Colorado city because she cursed at a police officer. Although we were able to get her charges dismissed on First Amendment grounds, it is frustrating that she even has to deal with this in the first place. Any time the government oversteps its power and interferes in your constitutionally protected freedoms, you need an experienced attorney who can fight for your rights.
Penalty for Disorderly Conduct in Douglas County
Because the penalty for Disorderly Conduct can range so much in Douglas County, it is important to have an experienced defense lawyer to represent you in court. Disorderly Conduct charges can range from a class 1 petty offense to a class 2 misdemeanor, with the maximum penalty being 12 months in the Douglas County Jail and a $1,000 fine, not to mention mandatory parole after release.
Denver Defense Lawyer for Disorderly Conduct Charges
Do not let the prosecutors in Broomfield or Denver County make you feel like a criminal because of your speech. If you are charged with Disorderly Conduct, or another crime protected by the First Amendment, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.
Read more about Disorderly Conduct in Colorado.