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Section 4 (Causing Fear or Provocation of Violence)

One of the most common Public Order Offences charged by the Police is the offence under Section 4 of the Public Order Act.  This offence is referred to as Threatening Behaviour or intending to cause someone to fear or to provoke violence.  If you are accused of an offence under Section 4 of the Public Order Act, the Prosecution will need to prove that:

  • That you have used threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour towards another person;
  • And intended to either cause them to believe that immediate unlawful violence will be used against them or to provoke them to use immediate unlawful violence.

Offences of threatening behaviour are relatively common charges to appear before the Court, although many of the offences are less serious than this charge would suggest.  Often, though speaking to the Crown Prosecution Service and the Police it is possible to amend the charge to a Section 4A, or Section 5 offence.

The offence of threatening behaviour is a summary only offence, which means it can only be heard in a Magistrates Court.  The offence can carry up to 6 months imprisonment, so if you are accused of this offence it is very important that you instruct a solicitor who you are sure is acting to the best of their ability to represent your best interests.  Your solicitor should be able to assess the strength of the evidence against you as well as your account of the alleged incident and advise you on the best way to prepare your case.

The solicitors at Stephen Lickrish & Associates have dealt with clients who are accused of being part of Public Order offences like this on many occasions.  We represent the clients in Greater Manchester and throughout the North West as well as throughout the Country.  If you or someone you know are accused of this offence, contact us to see how we can help you.

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