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What is disorderly conduct, and how can you avoid a charge?

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2021 | Criminal Defense

If you get into a fight while at a bar with your friends, you could be charged for disorderly conduct. You could also be charged if you participate in other types of behaviors that annoy or disturb the public.

Some examples of disorderly conduct include:

  • Urinating on a public building or sidewalk
  • Doing donuts in a parking lot
  • Walking home while intoxicated and causing a scene
  • Playing loud music at night

Essentially, behaviors that go beyond being generally annoying to the general public could result in a disorderly conduct charge. This charge is sometimes interchanged with public intoxication charges or disturbing the peace. You might be charged with indecent exposure or as a public nuisance. The exact charge varies depending on the circumstances and the jurisdiction.

What can you do to avoid a disorderly conduct charge?

To keep it simple, you can avoid a disorderly conduct by avoiding doing anything that would harass, annoy, embarrass or disturb others in public. If you’re asked by the police to stop doing something, like playing loud music, but continue anyway, then you could face charges.

Certain acts aren’t always considered disorderly conduct unless there is an intent to harm. Additionally, self-defense doesn’t qualify and could be a good legal defense if you are facing charges. Other helpful defenses can include proving that a noise curfew isn’t in effect or showing evidence that you were dealing with a medical condition, not intoxication, when you were struggling to walk home.

What should you do if you’re accused of disorderly conduct?

If you’re accused of disorderly conduct, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your criminal record. You may be arrested and taken to the police station. You don’t have to say or do anything to try to talk your way out of that situation. Ask for your attorney, and understand that what you say could end up being used against you in court. Staying quiet and waiting for more Criminal Charges is a good option to take.