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Is this really Disorderly Conduct?

Hagerstown, MD |

My husband was talking to his friends/co-workers at work when he made a sarcastic statement (which contained one curse word) regarding another co-worker who my husband thought was out of the building. Turns out, the co-worker was in another room and over-heard. The co-worker then went to the police and the police charged my husband with Disorderly Conduct. My husband was talking to friends and had no knowledge that anyone else was around. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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Attorney answers 6


Disorderly conduct involves willfully hindering or obstructing the free passage of another in a public palce or on a public conveyance, willfully acting in a way that disturbs the peace or willfully failing to obey the lawful order of a police officer, or making unreasonably loud noise in a public place or on another's land. The scenario you describe does not seem to meet the definition of the offense and its hard to appreciate how your husband was charged by the police after the alleged event. You would be well advised to contact an attorney to investigate the matter and determine what information beyond what you presently know exists to support such a charge.

Mr. Eidelberg is licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The response herein is not legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship, is for educational purposes, and intended to impart general information about the subject inquiry. Consultation with a qualified attorney in the state from which the inquiry is generated is strongly recommended so that case specific legal guidance can be obtained.


This does not sound like disorderly conduct. Your husband should go to court and fight the charge. The standard in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt and I bet the State will drop the charge if those are the facts. He could get a lawyer or the Public Defender if he cannot afford private counsel. Good luck!

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I agree, this does not sound like disorderly conduct. I'd suggest you hire a local lawyer to assist you with this case. Good Luck.


It sounds weak. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the prosecution's case, any defenses that you might have, and any plea offer that might be made, so that you can decide whether to go to trial. Consider seeking a confidential consultation.

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It certainly doesn't sound like it, but I'd need to see the Statement of Charges and get more details.

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If your version of events is accurate and believed by the judge, you husband would appear to have a strong defense, including, but not limited to, robust First Amendment rights to express himself. However, that may or may not be a big if. Therefore, your husband should retain a qualified criminal defense lawyer. All the best to him. Jon

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