Unlawful Assembly Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Unlawful Assembly, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Unlawful Assembly?

(n) The constitutional amendment guarantees freedom of assembly. But for maintaining law and order, to stop riot or breach peace, law enforcing authority is empowered to stop assembling with an intention to begin riot or breach of piece. Such assembling are termed as unlawful assembly

History and Meaning of Unlawful Assembly

The term "unlawful assembly" is rooted in the constitutional amendment of freedom of assembly, which allows individuals to gather peacefully in groups. However, when those groups assemble with the intention of causing a riot or a breach of peace, it becomes illegal. In such a case, law enforcement can disperse the individuals, and they are considered to be part of an unlawful assembly. This term is designed to maintain peace and order in a community.

Examples of Unlawful Assembly

  1. A group of individuals gathers outside a courthouse with the intention of stopping a trial. They begin yelling and throwing objects, causing a disturbance. Law enforcement comes and breaks up the gathering, arresting those who refuse to leave.

  2. A group of people organizes a protest outside a government building. They are peaceful for most of the day but begin to cause damage to the building and surrounding areas. The police intervene and declare the gathering an unlawful assembly.

  3. A crowd gathers outside a popular concert venue, attempting to rush the doors and enter without tickets. The police label the gathering an unlawful assembly and disperse the individuals to prevent chaos.

Legal Terms Similar to Unlawful Assembly

  1. Rioting: The act of participating in a violent disturbance of the peace
  2. Disorderly conduct: Behaviors that disrupt public safety and order
  3. Curfew violation: Breaking a set-in-place time limit for public safety reasons.