Disorderly conduct is the most common charge made by arresting officers across the country due to its broad scope of activity. Actions from playing music loudly to having a fight with your partner that can be heard by neighbors may be considered disorderly conduct. In addition, making obscene gestures or being intoxicated in public are other examples of a disorderly conduct charge that can result in fines or, in some severe cases, incarceration.
To ensure your disorderly conduct charge gets dismissed or you receive the minimum penalty, you’ll need a strong criminal defense attorney–you’ll need Kalinoski Law Offices.
What is disorderly conduct?
Under 18 Pa.C.S. §5503, disorderly conduct is defined as the “intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof” if the individual:
- Engages in fighting or acts threatening, violent or exhibits tumultuous behavior;
- Makes unreasonable noises;
- Uses obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or
- Creates a hazardous or offensive condition that serves no legitimate purpose
Under the law, a disorderly conduct offense is a third-degree misdemeanor “if the intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to desist.” Otherwise, the charge is a summary offense.
If found guilty of disorderly conduct as a summary offense, you can face a maximum penalty of 90 days incarceration and/or a $300 fine. If found guilty of a misdemeanor, you may face a maximum of one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
Defenses to a Disorderly Conduct Charge
While the maximum penalty is rarely given for disorderly conduct charges unless other charges exist, it’s important to know your legal options should you be arrested for disorderly conduct.
Potential defenses to a disorderly conduct charge include:
- Lack of intent;
- Lack of knowledge that the conduct was causing disruptive conditions;
- Being provoked; or
- Claiming disorderly conduct did not occur.
In general, disorderly conduct charges are at the judge’s discretion. That’s why it is imperative to have a criminal defense attorney who will be sure to include additional aspects of the crime, such as first-time offense, location, and timing, to lessen your penalty.
In addition, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires every element of the statute to be proven. An experienced attorney will be able to challenge evidence that refutes those elements individually to lessen or eliminate your penalty.
Disorderly Conduct Defense: Kalinoski Law Offices
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, do not handle it alone. Though these cases seldom end in jail time, why waste a day of your life on a misunderstanding or a case of wrong place, wrong time?
At Kalinoski Law Offices, we fight for those charged with disorderly conduct crimes. We know how the legal system works and we will put our years of experience to use, defending you in court to ensure you get the smallest penalty possible, or total charges dismissed.
If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney experienced in disorderly conduct defense, you need Attorney Craig Kalinoski. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.