Passionate about what we do. Passionate about serving you.

  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  → Is it illegal to yell at someone? 

Is it illegal to yell at someone? 

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Under the First Amendment, you do have a right to free speech. This means that you are legally allowed to say almost anything that you want, and you cannot be prohibited from doing so by the government.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be consequences, of course. Saying anything you want may get you fired from your job or banned from certain social circles. None of that is an infringement on your First Amendment rights as long as the government isn’t making rules about what you can and cannot say.

With this logic, people are sometimes confused when they get arrested for things that they have said. Maybe they were yelling at another individual, the police were called, and an arrest was made. They claim that they were just using their First Amendment rights. How could they have been arrested?

The specifics of what was said matter a great deal

One of the keys is to determine specifically what was said and if that may be a violation of the law.

For example, it is technically assault to make credible threats towards another person. They do not have to suffer physical harm. So, if one person was yelling threats at the other – and those threats were deemed to be credible – then they could still be arrested due to what they said.

Another example of this could be if there are aggravating factors. The police can arrest someone for being drunk and disorderly, for example. If two people who are intoxicated are engaged in a shouting match, they may be arrested on these grounds, rather than because of exactly what they said. Their behavior still matters.

As you can see, the law is often much more complex than people assume. It’s very important for those who have been arrested to understand what legal steps to take.