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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 99430
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Is it illegal to flip someone off in public

Customer Question

Is it illegal to flip someone off in public?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.

That is very subjective. Civil suit aside, it can be argued that doing so is a public disturbance, which can be a citation or in some cases, a misdemeanor. However, it all depends on the elements surrounding the situation. Stopping traffic or flow of people on the sidewalk and causing a ruckus while flipping someone off may be criminally actionable.

Quickly flipping someone off is likely not.

Of course, this can be argued another way, since doing so is a sign for a vulgar utterance, and this can be construed as a public disturbance in itself.

Therefore, it is a highly subjective situation.

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