Communicating With Your Attorney

Heed A Police Officer's Order To Move Along, Or Face A Charge In These Situations

When you're in a group of people who are behaving badly, it's easy to begin to act in a similar manner. With police officers likely on the scene, however, you need to know that you could face a charge if you fail to heed a lawful order. Police officers won't want to infringe on anyone's rights, but may eventually tell people to move along — especially if their presence or their actions are potentially making the scene dangerous for others. Your mentality of "strength in numbers" may compel you to ignore this request, but that could mean that you'll soon be in handcuffs and facing a charge of disorderly conduct or something similar — prompting the need to hire a criminal defense attorney. Here are some situations in which you should always heed an officer's order to move along.

At A Demonstration

Police officers often gather where people are demonstrating in an effort to keep the crowd — and those who are perhaps counter demonstrating — acting in a lawful manner. If you've attended a demonstration and are obeying the law, you should still be aware of when the police begin to break up the demonstration. You don't need to know why it's time to disperse, but you do need to accept that a police officer is giving you a lawful order. If you defy the order by remaining on the scene, you could get charged and need to establish a defense with your attorney.

At An Accident Scene

An accident of any type, whether it's a car accident, an industrial accident, or something similar, will often gather onlookers. It's OK to watch the scene as long as you do so from a reasonable distance and make sure that you don't get in the way of any of the first responders. If you're the nosy type, however, you might be eager to get as close as you can, and this can be a bad decision. While the police will commonly give you a warning to stand back — often being a barrier of tape or another designated area — failure to listen could lead to a disorderly conduct charge.

After A Sporting Event

People enjoy congregating after sporting events, but the combination of alcohol consumption and fan rivalries often has the potential to result in conflicts. Police officers will give fans a certain amount of time to leave the venue after a game, as well as leave the parking lot after a tailgating session. You might have a different idea, perhaps thinking that you want to keep the party going. You're forgetting that an officer's request is a lawful order, and you could get charged for failing to heed it. Consult with a criminal defense lawyer service if you've been charged in one of these instances.