Disorderly conduct is one of the most common offenses in the United States. There are times when law enforcement arrests people for disorderly conduct when it isn’t warranted – when this happens they should fight their charges.
Disorderly conduct is a broad term describing conduct that disturbs the peace or threatens the morals, health, or safety of people in a community. Any type of unruly or disturbing behavior might fall under this category, as long as they serve to provoke a disturbance.
Nearly every state has a disorderly conduct law that makes it a crime to be intoxicated in a public place, to disturb the peace or to loiter in certain places. In essence, many different types of rude or obnoxious behaviors can be considered “disorderly conduct" and can be punished under state laws.
Some common forms of disorderly conduct include (but are not limited to) public drunkenness, disturbing the peace, loitering, fighting, physical altercations, inciting a riot, loud or unreasonable noise, using offensive or abusive language and obstructing traffic.
Considering the wide range of behaviors that can be considered disorderly conduct, virtually any form of socially offensive behavior or language can be prosecuted under disorderly conduct. Truthfully, there are always two sides to every story.
People can be acting in self defense, or they can be simply reacting to someone else’s derogatory remarks when they are arrested for disorderly conduct. Circumstances like these require the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with these types of cases. Although disorderly conduct offenses may seem extremely minor, they are not. A conviction can involve jail time, fines, community service, restitution, probation and the burden of a criminal record.
A small altercation where you were in the right can result in a lifetime of consequence. A permanent criminal record will haunt you wherever you go. Although disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense, that doesn’t mean it is minor. A criminal record will leave you scarred for life – it will affect your ability to acquire certain jobs because many employers won’t hire you if you have a criminal record. You can also be denied access to certain housing, and denied financial aid for college courses.
Whenever you are charged with a criminal offense, especially one that can be based on opinion as opposed to fact – you should hire a criminal defense attorney. The time immediately following your arrest is crucial for gathering witness testimony and physical evidence. Your Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer will be able to fully investigate the facts surrounding the incident and cross-examine witness testimony. With the proper measures, they might be able to get the charges against you either reduced or dropped altogether – which can mean the difference between jail and freedom.