Public Order Offence Solicitors
Legal Experience and Expertise
The Public Order Act 1986 essentially governs the way that people are expected to behave in public and is geared at protecting citizens from distress whilst trying to provide a code in law to prevent breaches of the peace. These cases are often complex because there are numerous elements that need to be fulfilled in Public Order offences. Case law (precedents set by previous cases) has tended to govern some of these areas and so a detailed analysis of the facts is key to establishing whether in fact the alleged offence is in itself capable of being an offence in law.
The Public Order Act covers scenarios which might include pub fights, street brawls, neighbourly disputes, arguments between parties where alarm, harassment or distress are said to have been caused and scenarios where direct threats to others are made in public. Given that there can often be a fine line between whether the law has been broken, these disputes tend to be ones where the facts are hugely important. It is therefore imperative that a review of evidence is undertaken to try and make sure that there is a case to answer in the first place, before then preparing the case in order to defend a defendant’s position robustly.
We have acted in a great number of cases involving various different defendants from all walks of life on Public Order matters, none of whom would expect to have been charged with a public order offence and were later acquitted. These include, for example, black cab drivers, TV directors and estate agents. All of this goes to show that Public Order offences do not tend to just arise from what the general public might envisage as typical loutish behaviour, such as fights after football matches.
There are ramifications for defendants on conviction where their good character is at risk and we work extremely hard to try and make sure that a defendant’s position is protected and that the case has been prepared as well as is possible. Where appropriate we work to ensure that acquittal follows.