Course: Criminal Law
Unlawful assembly is a criminal offense that occurs when three or more individuals gather with the intent to commit a crime or engage in violent behavior.
Unlawful assembly is a criminal offense that occurs when three or more individuals gather with the intent to commit a crime or engage in violent behavior. Under the Model Penal Code (MPC) section 250.2, unlawful assembly is defined as “when three or more persons meet in order to commit a crime or to do a lawful act in a violent, tumultuous, or threatening manner likely to cause public alarm.”
The key element of unlawful assembly is the intent to commit a crime or engage in violent behavior. The fact that the individuals have not yet committed a crime is not a defense to the charge of unlawful assembly. In some cases, the mere act of gathering in a group may be enough to cause public alarm or create a disturbance.
Unlawful assembly is considered a misdemeanor offense under the MPC and is punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both. The severity of the punishment may depend on the nature of the crime that the individuals intended to commit, as well as the level of violence or disruption caused by their actions.
It is important to note that the right to assemble is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, this right is not absolute and may be subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. For example, the government may require permits for large gatherings or may prohibit assemblies that are likely to result in violence or other unlawful behavior.
On This Site
[ Glossary ]
Last Modified: 03/14/2023