Disorderly Conduct Laws
Disorderly conduct is normally a misdemeanor charge with several different types of violations falling under it. A disorderly conduct violation may include being loud and abrasive in public or engaging in violent behavior like a fight. Since this is such a large term, depending on what the charge is for, penalties may vary.
Every state uses different laws on disorderly conduct, but they’re relatively the same. At the federal level, disorderly conduct is defined as a person who acts with risky and reckless behavior or with intent to cause a public disrupting. This includes:
- Engaging in violent behavior, such as fighting or threats.
- Uttering, gesturing, or engaging in acts that are obscene or threatening.
- Creating unreasonable disturbances.
- Soliciting or engaging in lewd behavior.
- Accosting others to engage in illegal solitation.
- Lodging in a building, place, or vehicle without permission from the private or public owner.
- Displaying intoxicated behavoirs which interferes or obstructs the use of public streets.
- Loitering on private property.
- Invading the privacy of a person.
Is Disorderly Conduct a Felony or a Misdemeanor
Disorderly conduct is usually a misdemeanor or an infraction in most scenarios. In certain circumstances, it can be classified as a felony. However, even receiving a misdemeanor charge can earn you up to a year in jail, hundreds in fines, and a criminal record. Depending on where you live and what you’re being charged for, disorderly conduct can get you in as much “trouble” as a traffic ticket.
There are a few types of misdemeanors that can change the severity of your punishment for disorderly conduct. Most disorderly conduct charges are class C misdemeanors.
- Class A Misdemeanor is the most serious offense. You could earn up to one year in jail plus fines.
- Class B Misdemeanor is a lesser charge, but may earn you up to six months in jail.
- Class C Misdemeanor is where most disorderly conduct charges fall. You may still earn up to 30 days in jail depending on the charge.
- Unclassified Misdemeanors normally have their own punishments, but won’t exceed a year in jail.
What Is Classified As Disorderly Conduct
As mentioned, disorderly conduct is a vague term that describes a number of various public violations. Every state has different laws on the penalties for these violations. However, the most common violations include:
- Disturbing the peace. This may inlcude uttering threats, or loitering on public property.
- Fighting. Many jurisdictions have even more serious charges for the level of assault, battery, and bodily harm done to another person.
- Protesting. Engaging in a peaceful protest is a right, however, disruptive protests violating public or private by-laws is disorderly conduct.
- Disturbing an assembly. This may include interupting a public rally or religious gathering.
- Police disruptances. Failing to comply with plice orders constitutes as disorderly conduct. Arguing with police does not constitute as disorderly conduct, but failing to comply and escalating the situation can have serious consequences.
These are just common infractions that fall under the umbrella of disorderly conduct. Other violations are also considered disorderly conduct, but each state will have a different classification on the severity of the crime.
How Disorderly Conduct Affects You
Having an embarrassing story from a drunken night out is very common. But having a criminal charge, even if it’s just a misdemeanor, can earn you a criminal record. In many cases, explaining why you have this charge can ruin a potential career opportunity.
Depending on which industry you work in, a criminal background check may be necessary for you to get the job. If you plan on working with children, motor vehicles, hazardous materials, or are handling sensitive information, you’re likely subject to a criminal background check.
If your job requires you to have a Level 2 background check, your potential employer can screen you for arrests, convictions, and incarcerations that may be related to your disorderly conduct charge.
Although most disorderly conduct charges won’t earn you extensive fines or much jail time, it can affect your potential career. You should look to getting a disorderly conduct charge cleared as soon as possible, especially if it’s for a non-violent offense.
What To Do About a Disorderly Conduct Arrest
Although disorderly conduct is a minor charge in most cases, it should still be taken seriously. Infractions committed in airports, public parks, government institutions, or funerals, may actually be felonies.
To have a lawyer look over your charges and learn what they can do to help you, call MyCaseHelper at any time to speak with a criminal lawyer near you.