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Penalties for Disorderly Conduct

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What Are Disorderly Conduct Charges?

Disorderly conduct charges usually involve unruly conduct such as:

  • Being drunk in public
  • Loitering in certain areas (such as on a street corner or in front of a store)
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Provoking other persons in a threatening manner
  • Behaving in an overall disruptive manner

Disorderly conduct charges can often result in criminal penalties in most U.S. jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions may use file disorderly conduct charges as a “catch-all” crime for prosecuting persons whose behavior has generally been disruptive.

What Are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct?

Penalties for disorderly conduct can range very widely. For less serious violations, charges can result in a simple citation, accompanied by a small fine. Other disorderly conduct cases can result in misdemeanor charges. These types of charges may be accompanied by short jail time (usually some months, up to one year maximum), as well as more fines.

In certain very specific cases, disorderly conduct can result in felony charges. This can happen for instance if the disorderly conduct was committed while in an airport. Felony charges can result in penalties involving greater than one year in jail, and increased monetary fines.

Can Disorderly Conduct Punishments Be Reduced?

Disorderly conduct charges can often be reduced or lessened depending on the facts surrounding the case. Sentencing for disorderly conduct charges often involves much discretion the part of the judge. The judge may choose to reduce punishments for instance if it is the person’s first offense and they have a generally good track record. The judge may opt to issue alternative methods of rehabilitation such as paying fines or performing community service on weekends.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?

Disorderly conduct can sometimes lead to heavy criminal penalties. You may wish to hire an attorney if you need help with any type of criminal law matters. Your attorney can provide you with advice and legal representation in your defense. Also, your lawyer can help determine whether any alternative sentencing options are available.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 08-17-2016 02:56 PM PDT

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