S 5 Public Order
This is the least serious of the public order related offences. This is committed when a person uses threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour with the intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress. We have successfully defended this offence in cases. This offence is non-imprisonable and is often dealt with by the imposition of a financial penalty
This is more serious than S5. It carries a maximum of 6 months in the Magistrates Court. This offence is committed is a person uses threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour with the intent to cause that person to believe that immediate unlawful violence will be used. The main difference is the use or threat of violence.
This offence is committed when a person uses or threatens unlawful violence and it causes a person of reasonable firmness to fear for their safety. This offence is an Either Way Offence which carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in the Magistrates Court and 3 years in the Crown Court.
S 2 (Violent Disorder)
This offence requires 3 or more persons to be involved. It is more serious because of the “gang/ group” involvement. It is an Either Way Offence punishable by 6 months in the Magistrates Court and 5 years maximum in the Crown Court. Most cases involving S3 Public Order offences tend to be heard at the Crown Court.
This offence requires 12 or more people to be involved in serious disorder. Due to the serious nature of this offence it can only be dealt with in the crown Court and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.