SANTA ANA (AP) — Jury deliberations have begun in the trial of 10 Muslim students charged with disrupting a speech by an Israeli diplomat at the University of California, Irvine.

Jurors received the case Tuesday afternoon after hearing closing arguments. They are being asked to decide whether the students broke the law or were exercising a right to demonstrate freely.

READ MORE: Authorities Increase Security At Local Synagogues Following Texas Standoff

The students face misdemeanor charges of conspiring to disrupt a meeting and disrupting a meeting. If convicted, they could face sentences ranging from probation with community service and fines to a year in jail.

READ MORE: Diver Goes Missing Off Coast Of Huntington Beach; Search Underway

Prosecutors argue the students acted as censors when they shouted down Ambassador Michael Oren’s February 2010 speech about U.S.-Israel relations.

Defense lawyers counter that the students acted within the law.

MORE NEWS: Female Pedestrian Fatally Struck By Car In West Covina

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)