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Failure to Disperse

In an attempt to promote public peace and safety, the Washington State Legislature enacted RCW 9A.84.020, the “failure to disperse” statute. If convicted, a violation of this statute is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to ninety (90) days in jail and a thousand dollar fine, in addition to probation and probation costs.
RCW 9A.84.020 states a person is guilty if he or she
  • a) congregates with a group of three or more other persons and there are acts of conduct within that group which create a substantial risk of causing injury to any person, or substantial harm to property; and
  • b) He refuses or fails to disperse when ordered to do so by a peace officer or other public servant engaged in enforcing or executing the law.
Cities in King, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties have enacted similar laws or adopted the RCW. For example, Lake Stevens has adopted this statute as part of its municipal code, as has the city of Arlington, Washington. Seattle Municipal Code SMC 12A.12.020 says a person is guilty of failure to disperse if he or she
  • 1) congregates with a group of four (4) or more other persons and there are acts of conduct within that group which create a substantial risk of causing injury to any person or substantial harm to property; and
  • 2) He refuses or intentionally fails to obey a public safety order to move, disperse or refrain from specified activities in the immediate vicinity
Often a charge of trespassing accompanies this charge, under the theory that the person cited no longer possessed the right to remain on the premises.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged with criminal offenses in Northwest Washington Courts, including King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County and Whatcom County, as well as other counties on a case-by-case basis. These counties include courts in and for the following cities: Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bellevue, Blaine, Bothell, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Lynden, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Monroe, Redmond, Sea-Tac, Seattle, Sedro Woolley, Shoreline, Snohomish, and Tukwila, Washington.
The Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged focused on DUI – Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Negligent Driving, Driving with a Suspended License, Hit and Run, Assault, Domestic Violence, Drug Possession (including marijuana), and Paraphernalia Possession, Malicious Mischief, Public Disturbances like Disorderly Conduct, Theft, No-Contact Orders, Harassment, Probation Violation Hearings, as well as speeding tickets.