Disorderly Conduct Laws and Penalties

Disorderly Conduct Laws and Penalties in New York

Disorderly action is conduct likely to cause a breach of peace. In the effort to keep things running smoothly and peacefully, countries have formulated disorderly conduct laws that control what people do failure to which could lead to charges. For instance, if people behave outrageously, they could be charged with disorderly conduct. Contact our Disorderly Conduct Lawyer in New York to learn possible charge you may receive and prepare reliable criminal defense for it.

Disorderly Conduct Laws

Disorderly conduct is a term that covers broad behaviors that cause annoyance, anger, and alarm. The following elements cover disorderly conduct.

  • Location

Disorderly conduct is defined so because it occurs in a public place or it disrupts public order. Courts have to prove your action took place in a carnival, hospital, stalls, and private building for rental and entertainment. Also, if the conduct is happening in private property but is disturbing the neighboring public, the act is defined as disorderly. Nonetheless, a public element is not necessary to define disorderly conduct as long as the act is disturbing public peace.

  • Circumstances

The circumstances surrounding an act determine whether the act is disorderly. For example, if you go shouting in a residential environment, you could be charged with disorderly conduct. But, if you shouted in an industrial area using the exact volume you used in the residential environment, you won’t be charged with the crime.

  • Objectivity

Once someone is charged with disorderly conduct, the court does not have to prove that you caused alarm. Instead, objectivity is applied to prove that you could have annoyed the public.

Examples of Disorderly Conduct

Indeed, different states define disorderly conduct uniquely. But there are specific behaviors that qualify as disorderly conduct despite which country the conduct occurs.

  • Protesting

Protesting is a constitutional right but it has its limit. Therefore, if a group of people is engaging in disruptive protest, it qualifies as disorderly conduct.

  • Public Misconduct

Engaging in something rather private in public is misconduct. For example, masturbating, urinating in public could draw charges.

  • Unsettling an Assembly

If you attend a public rally, religious and city council meeting and interrupt the proceeding, the act qualifies as public disorderly action.

  • Fighting

Fighting in public disrupts the peace. So, besides been charged with disorderly conduct, the offender could be charged with battery or assault.

  • Police Encounters

A police encounter is a complex subject. For instance, arguing with police is not disorderly conduct but arguing while engaging in threatening conduct could be ruled as misconduct.

Disorderly Conduct Punishment

Disorderly conduct punishment varies depending on whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony. Undoubtedly, the penalties also differ from one state to another. Nonetheless, the punishment could include one or several of the following:

  1. Fines

Almost all crimes require the defendant to pay a fine. In that context, fines could range from $25 to $1000 depending on whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony and the state the act occurred. A fine can also come along with jail time or probation.

  1. Jail

Though convictions for disorderly conduct don’t attract long jail time, the defendant could be charged with one year in prison if the crime is categorized as a felony. But, much disorderly conduct doesn't draw jail time especially if the defendant is a first time offender. Nonetheless, a conviction may include days, weeks or months in prison.

  1. Probation

Probation is perhaps the most common type of sentence for disorderly conduct NY. Probation could last from several months to a year. But, if a person violates the probation by engaging in another disorderly conduct, the person could be sentenced with a tougher penalty such as jail time.

How to Beat a Disorderly Conduct Charge

Mostly, one is convicted based on the availability or unavailability of evidence. For instance, a neighbor may call the police following your domestic disorderly misconduct but may not want to get involved in court proceedings. Consequently, the court will have evidence on which to base a conviction. Ideally, beating a charge depending on how a lawyer represents you.

Find a lawyer

Disorderly conduct is a minor crime, well, as compared to murder crime. But, considering that you'll have a criminal record, the charge can ruin your life. Therefore, you need a lawyer to advise you about your case before things escalate. Also, a lawyer can represent you in court and ensure the penalties are reduced or thrown out altogether.

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