2011 Connecticut Code
Title 53a Penal Code
Chapter 952 Penal Code: Offenses
Sec. 53a-181. Breach of the peace in the second degree: Class B misdemeanor.

      Sec. 53a-181. Breach of the peace in the second degree: Class B misdemeanor. (a) A person is guilty of breach of the peace in the second degree when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person: (1) Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a public place; or (2) assaults or strikes another; or (3) threatens to commit any crime against another person or such other person's property; or (4) publicly exhibits, distributes, posts up or advertises any offensive, indecent or abusive matter concerning any person; or (5) in a public place, uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or (6) creates a public and hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which such person is not licensed or privileged to do. For purposes of this section, "public place" means any area that is used or held out for use by the public whether owned or operated by public or private interests.

      (b) Breach of the peace in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 183; P.A. 92-260, S. 68; P.A. 98-55; Nov. 15 Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 6, 9.)

      History: P.A. 92-260 amended Subsec. (a)(6) to replace "public, hazardous or physically offensive condition" with "public and hazardous or physically offensive condition" and amended Subsec. (b) to make a technical change in the name of the offense; P.A. 98-55 added Subsec. (a)(7) re placing a nonfunctional imitation of an explosive or incendiary device in a public place and defined "public place", and amended Subsec. (b) to add exception making a violation of Subdiv. (7) a class A misdemeanor; Nov. 15 Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 renamed offense by replacing "breach of the peace" with "breach of the peace in the second degree" where appearing, deleted Subsec. (a)(7) re placing of a nonfunctional imitation of an explosive or incendiary device in a public place, said provision being reenacted as part of Sec. 53a-180aa by same act, and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality, and amended Subsec. (b) to delete exception that made a violation of Subsec. (a)(7) a class A misdemeanor, effective January 1, 2002.

      Cited. 190 C. 371. Cited. 191 C. 433. Cited. 194 C. 347. Cited. 195 C. 668. Cited. 205 C. 456. Cited. 217 C. 73. Cited. 237 C. 613; Id., 633. Cited. 243 C. 115.

      Cited. 3 CA 410. Cited. 6 CA 334; Id.,407. Cited. 9 CA 255. Cited. 10 CA 499. Cited. 12 CA 74; Id., 306; Id., 481. Cited. 13 CA 139. Cited. 14 CA 6; Id., 10; Id., 548. Cited. 15 CA 641. Cited. 17 CA 234; Id., 339. Cited. 26 CA 157. Cited. 28 CA 344. Cited. 29 CA 683. Cited. 36 CA 135. Statute found not to be unconstitutionally vague on its face and not to be overbroad. 56 CA 264.

      Cited. 33 CS 93. Cited. 34 CS 548. Obscene gesture must be erotic in a significant way and must appeal to prurient interest in sex or portray sex in patently offensive way. Id., 575. Not unconstitutionally vague or overly broad. 35 CS 587. Cited. 36 CS 89; Id., 609. Whether defendant's vituperations addressed to the police officer constituted breach of the peace under statute discussed. 38 CS 349. Cited. 39 CS 359. Cited. 43 CS 46.

      Notice of conduct to be precise. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 667. History prior to penal code. Id, Cited. Id., 751, 752.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 198 C. 43. Subdiv. (2) cited. 214 C. 378. Subdiv. (1) cited. 227 C. 153; 233 C. 903. Subdiv. (1): Does not require proof of actual physical contact on part of defendant with a victim; when applied to speech, parameters of the violent, threatening or tumultuous behavior prohibited by section are consistent with "fighting words"; judgment of appellate court in State v. Szymkiewicz, 36 CA 625 et seq. reversed. 237 C. 613. Subdiv. (3): To avoid invalidation on grounds of overbreadth, judicial gloss adopted that when a police officer is the only person upon whose sensibilities the inflammatory language could have played, a conviction can be supported only for extremely offensive behavior supporting an inference that the actor wished to provoke the policeman to violence. 265 C. 145.

      Cited. 1 CA 669. Subdiv. (5): This part of the statute is confined to language which constitutes "fighting" words and defendant's repeated vile, racist and threatening epithets were of such a nature. Id., 669. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 709. Statute meets requirements of fair notice to defendant. 6 CA 407. Subdiv. (1) cited. 14 CA 440. Subdiv. (6) cited. 27 CA 103. Subdiv. (5) cited. Id., 103. Cited. 36 CA 625; judgment reversed, see 237 C. 613. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 625. Subdiv. (5) cited. Id. Cited. 37 CA 500; judgment reversed in part, see 237 C. 633. Subdiv. (1) cited. 38 CA 306; 41 CA 847. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (5) cited. Id. The distinction that may be drawn between the "fighting words" as contemplated under subdiv. (1) and those under subdiv. (5) can be found "under the totality of the circumstances...which gives rise to the words. Subdiv. (1) proscribes fighting words uttered in a violent, tumultuous or threatening manner, whereas subdiv. (5) proscribes fighting words that tend to induce immediate violence by the person or persons to whom the words are uttered because of their raw effect. The core meaning of subdiv. (5) remains intact-fighting words may arise in different contexts not confined to abusive or obscene language-and is not unconstitutionally vague. 78 CA 98. There is no indication that legislature did not intend to create separate crimes prohibited by this section and Sec. 53a-62(a)(2). 81 CA 248. Subdiv. (1): Defendant engaged in fighting or violent or tumultuous behavior with intent to cause annoyance, alarm and inconvenience by spitting on victim's face because spitting is an unsanitary act, likely to spread potentially deadly disease and is almost universally regarded as contemptuous, is calculated to incite others to act in retaliation and actual physical contact of defendant with victim is not required. 102 CA 551.

      Subdiv. (4) cited. 38 CA 581. Subdiv. (5) cited. Id. Cited. 39 CS 504.

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