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Could you get arrested for attending a protest?

There are many Kentucky news stories about protests recently. Along with those stories come people voicing their opinions about the First Amendment rights and the rights of law enforcement. It can be tough to figure out what rights you do have if you choose to attend a protest. Before you head off, though, it is important to learn more about what is legal and what is not to protect yourself against being arrested for attending a protest.

According to ProPublica, the First Amendment of the constitution does give you the right to peacefully assemble. The keyword there is "peacefully." This basically means that you will not break the law while assembling. If your protest is legal and does not break any laws while it is being held, then you should be okay. However, there are many ways in which a protest can stray into illegal activity territory.

To begin with, you have the right to assemble for any reason. This includes protests involving controversial subjects. Law enforcement or government agencies have no authority to prevent a protest based upon its subject matter. However, they can limit your protest. They may say you have to stay within a certain area or away from certain areas.

In addition, you have the right to assemble on public land. You cannot go onto private property without the property owner's permission. If you are assembling on private property, law enforcement can remove you or even arrest you for trespassing at the request of the property owner.

You also have to respect those around you not involved in your protest. This means you cannot block traffic, destroy property or create noise that violates noise ordinances.

If you are breaking the law in any way, law enforcement can intervene. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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