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Is it against the law to cuss out a police officer?
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Is it against the law to cuss out a police officer?

If a cop was getting on your nerves and you said "F*ck you!" would you get arrested?

Is it against the law or it is just the officer's call on if you were disrespecting him or not that determines if you go to jail?


That would be rude. Why would you do that? First off, its immature and not nice. If a police officer is "getting on your nerves" ask yourself why are you feeling that way? Is it because you don't like another adult talking to you about something you did wrong? Then you have to understand police officers are an authority figure in our society and their job is to deter crime, investigate suspicions and make arrests or issue citations. Its sort of "the world is bigger then I" philosophy. Take, for example, a crime like a drive by shooting where someone is murdered. Murder is the most serious crime next to child rape that us, as a people, have decided is the most serious crime that is punished heavily. What stops people from committng crime like that? The risk of getting caught I think. If police officers did more enforcement on that street, say speeding tickets or seatbelt tickets, it can directly affact criminal activity that leads to more serious crime. New York PD showed this in a crimestat program they used to effectivly REDUCE serious crime in areas. They started to track crime and when they'd see an increase in crime in certain areas, they FLOODED that area with police. Cars, bikes, foot, undercover, etc,etc... What this did is STOP crime from happending. The world is bigger than you! A simple ticket that "pisses you off" is no reason to cuss out someone. Take responsibility for your actions. I got a ticket a few years back. I had just got in a fight with my girlfriend, was mad and sped away. I was doing 46 MPH in a 30 zone and a motorcop just happened to be there. It was completely my fault and I derserved the ticket. I put at risk EVERYONE else because I was mad and had a lead foot. When I look at it that way, the world is bigger than me, and it was my turn to pay the price. That same officer who wrote me a ticket would not hesitate to respond to an armed robbery, assault, or home invasion if needed. It is not against the law to cuss at an officer, but cussing usually leads to agressive stances, finger pointed, closing physical distance, and grimacing faces. This can be interpretted as a threat. Of course, the officer also has discretion to make an arrest or issue a ticket. If you cussed him out, I'd think you would make up his mind doing that! Instead, if you feel there was a good reason for having done what you did, discuss that with the officer. Ultimately court is the place you argue your position to the judge. If its something the officer did unprofessionaly, go to the police station and speak to the "watch commander" or sergeant.

Depends on the jurisdiction, the Officer and the Department.
In my opinion, NO, it is part of the Officers training to handel distraught persons, to handel very nasty things being done toward him/her and to accept it as part of the job.
Not nice but life

Mary Jo W
i don't know about arrested.
but i get the poop beat out of me one night because of it

Mildred S
i don't think it's against the law . however, the reality is there are a lot of corrupt cops and they will beat , taser or hassle a citizen for no cause . give then a cause , i would imagine , you will be hassled or killed. there was a woman in skyharbor pheonix airport who died while in her handcuffs being detained. cursing is really an inability to express yourself and your frustration. control yourself and limit the contact you have with any police person. if you do not do anything wrong / you will not have a need to be frustrated by one. you will have less risk in dealing with them. i don't know of any law that demands respecting anyone else . but the officer can break your headlight and write you a citation for that. get yourself a camcorder with video and sound. if you are ever stopped / record everything.

It is in Texas, we have laws about public speech.

If that is all you are doing, NO. It is your constitutional right to call it like it is if you feel like. If he arrests you just for calling him a name, he is violating your civil rights and freedom of speech. Now, the trick up their sleeve is to provoke you into a disturbance and arrest you for another reason.

But you can walk up to a police station even and call one an @-hole without giving them a reason to arrest you. I did. Believe me, they can't write in any summons "he called me an ..." and have that validated by any judge!

Videotape your moment of splendor if you wish. Let it out.. But don't interrupt an event or degenerate it into a disturbance

Spoken Majority
actually in our state it is illegal. I can be offended which would make it disorderly conduct. it doesn't have to be a civilian that is offended, it can be me.

I would recommend against it in any case.

If an officer is talking to you and you are getting that upset; can I guess he is telling you that you are doing something wrong. Which would mean he would have discretion over whether to talk to you about it or just charge/arrest you. Saying that may shift his discretion a bit.

In Ohio, at least, that language would fall under "disorderly conduct". I also know of a few Cities that have ordinances regarding "conduct towards a peace officer" which is even a more serious charge.

Personally I usually give a warning, or even two before I take any action on language or statements like that. A lot of people let curse words drop when they are upset so I give them a little grace if it was just a temporary case of torrets.

But if someone is intentionally trying to get in an officer's face and trying to provoke that officer then that person needs to be dealt with. We swore an oath to keep the peace and that doesn't sound peaceful.

No, thats a matter of freedom of speech. However, as URAHillbilly stated, its not advisable. One, it is a police officer, who by and large, are out there keeping you safe at night. It's a matter of respect for those who risk their life. Also an officer can't arrest you, however they can defend themselves if they feel you are a threat. If you start yelling "bleeping bleep bleep bleeper" throwing your hands around in an irrate manner, they can arrest you or taser (or worse) you. They can also arrest you for disturbing the peace in some cases.
So yea, I would simply bite my tongue.

no, but its not advisable, copuld get you tasered with the cop claiming you were threatening him.

If you have an adverserial encounter with a cop, just document where and how your rights are infringed. Be nice polite and don't resist, as there will be time for making that cop's life hard later.

For cussing an officer? No.

For creating a disturbance? Yes

If it is just you and the officer, I would expect him to have a high tolerance for inappropriate behavior. If there are others in the area, that is a different matter. Especially children, elderly, or someone who actually complains about your behavior. You could be charged with disorderly conduct, or disturbing the peace.

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