Fort Worth Riot Defense Lawyer

By Jeff Kennedy

Fort Worth Riot Defense Lawyer

Protests and riots can flare up in response to civil unrest or injustice, and events that start peacefully have the potential to become inflamed fast.

Although the right to assembly is protected by the first amendment, rioting can be federally prosecuted and is a serious charge. If you’ve been arrested in Fort Worth in connection to riot-related crimes, you will need a trained criminal defense lawyer to come to your aid. That’s where a Fort Worth riot defense lawyer can help. 

Defining Rioting in a Legal Context

Often, riots can erupt spontaneously, the product of a peaceful protest turned violent. Other times, there is intent. Whatever the case may, rioting has a statutory definition in Texas that must be proved for a defendant to be prosecuted on rioting charges. 

According to the Texas penal code, a riot consists of an gathering of seven or more people resulting in conduct which: 

  • Creates an immediate danger of damage to property or injury to persons;
  • Substantially obstructs law enforcement or other governmental functions or services; or
  • By force, threat of force, or physical action deprives any person of a legal right or disturbs any person in the enjoyment of a legal right. 

This passage makes it clear that the legal definition of a riot in Texas rises above what to any reasonable person is an exercise of one’s first amendment rights to protest or assemble. A riot implies damages to people or property—something that may not be easily proved, given the facts of your unique case. 

Possible Defenses to Fort Worth Riot Related Charges

Prosecutors in a Fort Worth riot case must prove a number of things if they are to be successful. First off, they must demonstrate that you were a knowing and willing participant in the alleged event—a feat that could be challenging depending on the available evidence. 

To the extent possible, prosecutors will look to interview eyewitnesses or gather information from security cameras to prove your participation in the riot. One possible defense could center on the fact that you were unaware or couldn’t have been made reasonably aware that there was a riot, or that the peaceful protest would become violent. 

Second, in order to prosecute on riot charges, they must also prove that the event in question measures up to the legal definition of a riot. 

A Fort Worth riot defense attorney could examine your participation in the event to build a strong defense. 

The Consequences of a Fort Worth Riot Conviction 

In Texas, rioting is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.

Although a felony is worse, a rioting conviction on your record could make it difficult to apply for jobs, maintain professional licenses, or apply for housing, among other considerations. Most importantly, your reputation is at stake, which is why most people facing riot-related charges consider retaining the services of an experienced attorney. 

Contact a Fort Worth Riot Lawyer

A Texas rioting conviction is no laughing matter. You’ll need a robust legal defense if you’re going to clear your name. The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy are trusted in Fort Worth to defend their clients in cases related to rioting or disorderly conduct. They can fight for your rights. 

Are you ready to speak with an experienced Fort Worth riot defense lawyer? Call 817-605-1010 or fill out the below form with your contact information to get started. 


Jeff C. Kennedy was the light of hope at the end of very dark storm. He was not only able to defend my case swiftly, but had the alleged charges dismissed completely. His calm and empathetic demeanor offered emotional succor to myself and those I care about most. My children and I are eternally grateful for his excellent service and I hereby recommend Jeff C. Kennedy without reservation.


Jeff Kennedy truly cares. He and his staff kept me informed all the way throughout my case and provided me with all my options and the potential outcomes for my case. When the day finally arrived to resolve my case, Jeff was able to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge. He was well prepared and coordinated everything perfectly. Jeff is not only a good lawyer, but a good man.


I hired Mr. Jeff Kennedy to handle a DWI charge. From day one, I knew I had picked the right attorney. Jeff always took the time to answer any of my questions, treated me very professionally, and truly cared about my case. I have never been in any kind of trouble before and I was very nervous about the thought of going to trial. Jeff thoroughly explained the entire process to me and made me feel at ease. Jeff took my case to trial and the jury found me NOT GUILTY!


Jeff Kennedy is a professional, intelligent, easy-to-talk-to lawyer with an excellent understanding of how the system works. Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car. This has been my only big mistake in life so far (hopefully the last) and I am glad he was there to walk me through it. You will not regret hiring him.

9133 Belshire Dr
North Richland Hills,
Texas 76182
301 W Vickery Blvd Suite #101
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
303 W Abram St
Texas 76010
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