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5 Reasons Why St. Louis Protestors Are Arrested

There have been many nationally-reported protests over the last year here in St. Louis, which have ranged from peaceful to violent. Although you do have a constitutional right to protest peacefully and make your voice heard, many protestors push the limits of what is legally-protected free speech. In this blog, we discuss five of the most common reasons why protestors may be arrested.

1. Entering The Street Without A Permit

This is perhaps the most common reason why protestors get arrested. When a protest requires a street to be closed, authorities must work to reroute traffic, change bus schedules, and may need to plan emergency routes if a hospital or fire station will be blocked. While you may be tempted to veer off the sidewalk, this will likely result in an arrest.

2. Blocking Sidewalks, Stairways, Or Other Paths

You won’t typically need a permit if your protest stays entirely on sidewalks, and does not violate traffic laws. However, it’s important to make sure that you leave enough room for other passers-by to use the sidewalks and public walkways. You may not block pedestrian traffic, or attempt to intentionally obstruct or detain pedestrians.

3. Making Too Much Noise Without a Permit

Most cities have noise ordinances, and devices such as bullhorns and megaphones can definitely violate these restrictions. If you need to use such devices, you should obtain a permit from your local government in advance of the protest. Law enforcement is given quite a bit of discretion in this area, so it’s important to tread carefully.

4. Damaging Property

This one is a no-brainer, yet many people vandalize both public and private property in the height of a passionate protest. In today’s digital age, police have effectively been able to identify vandals from cell phone video footage. Protest, but make sure you do so peaceably!

5. Defying Police Instructions

Perhaps the most controversial reason why many protestors are arrested is for defying orders or instructions from the police. When a protest is focused on bringing awareness to police violence, it’s easy to see how things can get contentious. The best thing to do is comply, and stay free to protest another day – if you feel that the instructions are a violation of your civil rights, you should contact a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Arrested in St. Louis or the surrounding areas? Call (314) 272-3368 today for tough defense.

Categories: Criminal Defense

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