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What Is the Law on Riot in Maine and What Are the Punishments for It?

In the State of Maine in the United States, the charge of riot is placed under disorderly conduct. If a person commits disorderly conduct, it means that he/she did something to disturb the peace in a public place. The laws differ from state to state but in usual cases, the laws can even prohibit a group of people from making unreasonable noise in public or being drunk. The laws also include the prohibition of loitering in certain specified areas.

What Is the Law of Riot?

So, if you want to understand what the law of riot is, you also need to understand what disorderly conduct includes because a riot is nothing but when disorderly conduct is committed by five or more people together.

The people in the group who are committing disorderly conduct –

  • Must have the intent of facilitating or committing a crime that involves physical injury or damage to a property belonging to people who are not the participants of the crime, or
  • Intends to use or uses a firearm during the crime or implements some sort of dangerous weapon in the course of disorderly conduct

Maine Riot Law

So, now you should know what disorderly conduct actually includes. According to section 501-A, disorderly conduct in the state of Maine includes a person causing annoyance to others intentionally or recklessly by –

  • Making unreasonable and loud noises.
  • Engaging in some sort of fight without holding the license to do so.
  • Exposing some kind of substance or activating a device that would lead to the release of offensive or noxious odors.
  • Insulting, accosting, challenging or taunting a person in a public or private place with derisive, offensive or annoying words or through any physical conduct or gesture that might lead to a violent response from the side of the ordinary person on whom all these things were acted upon.
  • Making such noises in a private place that can be easily heard by another person even after the law enforcement officer has ordered the noise to be ceased.
  • Insulting, accosting, challenging or taunting a person in mourning in a public or private place or even near a memorial or funeral with words that are offensive, annoying or obtrusive or even by means of any offensive gesture or physical conduct.

Maine Riot Law
What Are the Punishments for Committing a Crime of Riot in Maine?

Since riot falls under the category of disorderly conduct, it is classified as a Class E crime. And so, any person committing this crime will have to pay a fine of up to $1,000 and face incarceration of up to six months.

If you have been accused of such a crime, then your first step should be to find a suitable attorney who will represent you in the court. For this, you should contact the Maine State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service. But in case, you find yourself in a position where you cannot afford to get an attorney of your own, the state will appoint an attorney to you who will represent you in court. At times, you might even be asked to pay for a portion of the cost of keeping that attorney. If your case is a civil matter and you cannot afford an attorney, then you should contact the Pine Tree Legal Assistance or the Volunteer Lawyers' Project. But if you are 60 years of age or older and a resident of the state of Maine, then you will also be eligible to apply to the Legal Services for the Elderly. Since the laws keep changing from time to time, appointing a local criminal defense lawyer is what you should do.

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