Ask A Lawyer- Can I Be Charged For Cussing Out A Cop?

Question: I was at a party when cops came in to bust it up. I got mad and started yelling at the cops, cussing at them, calling them some nasty names, so they charged me with Resisting and Delaying. Can they do that? That’s all I was charged with.

Answer: That charge should be dismissed. Verbal assaults on an officer, such as cussing them out or yelling, are not enough on their own for a conviction on Resisting, Delaying and Obstructing an Officer. Police are expected to be more thick-skinned when it comes to verbal taunts, and courts here in North Carolina have established that language directed towards officers is held to a different standard than language directed towards fellow citizens when determining whether speech is Constitutionally protected.

As long as your actions did not prevent the officers from doing their job, and you did not lie or withhold information, there is no valid cause for a conviction on Resisting, Delaying and Obstructing an Officer.

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