Disorderly Conduct Lawyers
What is Disorderly Conduct?
Disorderly Conduct is generally considered recklessly or intentionally engaging in violent behavior, disrupting a peaceful assembly of person, obstructing traffic, making unreasonable noises to disrupt the public and refusing to comply with a lawful order from the police.
Disorderly conduct includes crimes such as public drunkenness, disturbing the peace, loitering, and other civil disorders. Participating in unlawful assemblies or rioting may also fall under this category. Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor.
Defenses to Disorderly Conduct Charge
- Self-defense: If the charge is for engaging in violence, claiming you were protecting yourself from assault may be viable
- Freedom of speech: If the charge is for making unreasonable noises or for engaging in public argument, claiming you have a right do so may get you off the hook. This defense should be used only in appropriate circumstances though, as the speech must be of certain nature to qualify for such protection.
- Public/Privacy Distinction: Disorderly conduct is mainly for disagreeable conduct in public. Police should not be invoking it for domestic disputes (a completely different set of laws govern that area)
- Failure to Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: If the evidence is lacking or contradictory, you can walk.
Consequences of Disorderly Conduct
- Imprisonment, typically up to thirty days for first time offenders
- Fines, typically up to $500
- Probation, to ensure that behavior doesn’t occur again for a period of time
- Public record, may hinder employment or tenancy applications
Factors Determining the Severity of Punishment
- Specific Activity and Statute Violated
- Use of Violence or Weapons
- Damage to Property
- Resulting Personal Injury
What Can You Do if You are Accused of Disorderly Conduct?
If you are accused of disorderly conduct or a similar crime you should speak to a lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses, and the complicated legal system.
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Last Modified: 10-25-2012 01:23 PM PDT
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