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Anticipated Legal Issues Ahead of Expected Unite the Right Rally

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Police using tear gar to disperse protesters in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE) Police using tear gar to disperse protesters in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Due to the expected large crowds at the Unite the Right rally, there is potential for participants to encounter legal problems.  

At any point during any events on Saturday authorities have the power to declare unlawful protest, meaning the crowd has to disperse. 

State code says an unlawful assembly is when three or more people come together with a threat of violence.

Last month, police declared an unlawful assembly during a Ku Klux Klan rally at Justice Park and used tear gas on counterprotesters.

"It's mainly used in two different connections, the first connection is let’s say there's been a crime and a big crowd has gathered around the scene of the crime and they want everyone to disperse, get away.  The second thing is where it's been a political protest and they want everybody to go away," said NBC29’s Legal Analyst Lloyd Snook. 

Unlawful assembly is a class one misdemeanor, however, if you have a weapon, police could charge you with a felony.   

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