Skip to main content

Could I be found guilty of Disorderly Conduct?

Scottsdale, AZ |

I was driving thru a parking garage and a guy either kicked or punched my car I got out with my gun at my side, never pointing or suggesting that I would use it and I began to tell him that is NOT something you should ever do to anyone. I got back in my car and left. about 15 minutes later got pulled over by half the Scottsdale police department and arrested for Disorderly Conduct. Released after about 5 hours.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. You could be convicted. It all depends on what his story was. If this was in a parking garage, see if there was video surveillance. If there was, a letter needs to be sent to the company in charge of it explaining that it is needed and to not destroy it. Disorderly Conduct can be charged as a dangerous offense if the State alleges that a weapon was brandished. All dangerous offenses carry mandatory prison sentences. I recommend that you lawyer up right away. They will be coming around seeking your confession soon, if not already. Talking to the police and trying to explain your side of things usually results in the police saying that "the suspect gave a full confession." There really is nothing you can verbalize to them that will ever help you. The only rights you have, which, if invoked will help you, is your right to remain silent and right to a lawyer.


  2. Yes, you could be convicted of disorderly conduct (DOC). You could even be charged with assault, or aggravated assault, and possibly convicted. Are you LIKELY to be convicted of DOC? That depends on several factors. First, take a close look at the language of the Arizona laws on DOC and assault. DOC is 13-2904. For assault, look at 13-1203(A)(2); for agg. assault, look at 13-1204(A)(2). The link to those laws is attached.
    Once you see exactly how those offenses are defined, you have to consider that there are always at least two sides to every story; that your version and the alleged victim's version will differ; that what you remember saying to the police may differ from what they say you said; and that juries are made up of ordinary citizens with all kinds of attitudes, gifts, flaws, values, and biases. (I will save my rant about people who try to get out of jury duty for another day. We need all of the smart, life-experienced, wise jurors that we can get.)
    People do get wrongly convicted. And, depending on whether your words, tone of voice, body stance, other physical actions, decision to take the matter into your own hands instead of calling the police to deal with whatever damage was done to your vehicle, and having your gun at your side while angrily addressing the alleged victim amounts to "intentionally placing another person in fear of imminent physical injury," you might be rightly convicted of assault, because that is one of the legal definitions of assault. (There was no damage? That might make you look like a hothead. You weren't angry? That might make you look untruthful. The guy attacked your vehicle for no reason? That is unusual . . . So, you see where this might go.)
    It sounds like you made statements to the police. It sounds like whatever the alleged victim said was scary enough to send a lot of cops after you.
    You should get with an experienced criminal defense attorney NOW. That lawyer may be in a position to gather evidence that will soon disappear (the parking area may have had surveillance cameras). The lawyer may be in a position to keep this case from going to a grand jury for consideration of assault charges, or to provide information to the prosecutor for the grand jury to hear that will help you nip this in the bud. The background of the alleged victim should be discovered. Your lawyer, not you, can best do these things.
    I have painted a worst-case scenario for you here, because these are possibilities. I am not saying they are probabilities, and I do not want to cause you extra worry -- I can only imagine the stress of being in your position up to this point. But you should do what you can to minimize any possible damage NOW, and the way to do that is a) follow all of the rules of your
    release (read all of your court paperwork); b) be very careful to avoid getting arrested while this is pending -- don't even be in the same car or house with anyone who might be involved in illegal activity; c) do NOT make any more statements about the facts of your case to anyone except your lawyer, and do not even use a cellphone or e-mail to communicate about it with your attorney unless those modes of communication are EXCEPTIONALLY secure (and most are not); and d) hire an experienced attorney NOW. I wish you the best of luck. You may be a complete victim of a person who had an out of control anger problem that day and who exaggerated to the police, and you may further be the victim of overly enthusiastic policing. A dedicated attorney may be able to nip this in the bud.

    A true attorney/client relationship has not been established by your question(s) and my response(s). Your question(s) and my response(s) are limited and general in nature. You cannot rely on the information in my reponse(s) because correct legal advice in any situation requires that the client provide many more facts. The addition of one seemingly small or minor fact could completely change the response(s). When you put information about a legal situation into a public forum like this one, anybody can read it, including the police and prosecutors, and anything you say can be used against you in court. I recommend that you establish a true attorney/client relationship with a lawyer who can then find out, through private communications, the other pertinent information needed to provide an accurate, safe, reliable answer for you.

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics