Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181

Current with legislation from 2024 effective through June 4, 2024.
Section 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.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181

(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.)

Cited. 190 C. 371; 191 Conn. 433; 194 Conn. 347; 195 Conn. 668; 205 Conn. 456; 217 Conn. 73; 237 Conn. 613; Id., 633; 243 C. 115. Cited. 3 Conn.App. 410; 6 Conn.App. 334; Id., 407; 9 Conn.App. 255; 10 CA 499; 12 Conn.App. 74; Id., 306; Id., 481; 13 Conn.App. 139; 14 CA 6; Id., 10; Id., 548; 15 Conn.App. 641; 17 Conn.App. 234; Id., 339; 26 Conn.App. 157; 28 Conn.App. 344; 29 Conn.App. 683; 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; 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 Conn.Supp. 587. Cited. 36 Conn.Supp. 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; 43 Conn.Supp. 46. Notice of conduct to be precise; history prior to penal code. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 667. Cited. Id., 751, 752. Subsec. (a): Cited. 198 C. 43; 214 Conn. 378; 227 Conn. 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 36 CA 625 reversed. 237 Conn. 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. Subdiv. (3): Statements made that "more of what happened to your son is going to happen to you" and "I'm going to be there to watch it happen", when spoken to one whose son had suffered serious physical injuries, did not constitute a true threat due to subsequent apology and lack of other animosity between the parties; to ensure that only serious expressions of an intention to commit an act of unlawful violence are punished, as the first amendment requires, state must do more than demonstrate that a statement could be interpreted as a threat. 313 Conn. 434. Evidence sufficient to support finding that defendant intended to "inconvenience, [annoy] or alarm" victim by posting victim's diary entries on Facebook even though victim was not invited by defendant to view the posts. 321 C. 688. Subdiv. (5): This part of statute is confined to language which constitutes "fighting" words and defendant's repeated vile, racist and threatening epithets were of such a nature. 1 Conn.App. 669. Cited. Id., 709. Statute meets requirements of fair notice to defendant. 6 Conn.App. 407. Cited. 14 CA 440; 27 Conn.App. 103; 36 Conn.App. 625; judgment reversed, see 237 Conn. 613; 37 Conn.App. 500; judgment reversed in part, see 237 Conn. 633; 38 Conn.App. 306; 41 CA 847. 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 Conn.App. 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. Defendant's statement that "you better watch yourself" to staff after exiting day-care center did not meet "fighting words" or "true threat" exceptions to first amendment speech protections justifying revocation of probation for committing breach of the peace under section. 183 CA 354. Cited. 38 CS 581; 39 Conn.Supp. 504.