Disorderly Conduct Cases
Disorderly conduct is a common charge, due to the many different subdivisions that are included in the statute. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, call our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys now at 877-377-8666.
A person can be charged with disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public alarm, annoyance, or inconvenience, or recklessly creating a risk of such condition, the person commits acts of fighting, violent or threatening behavior, creates an unreasonable level of noise, utilizes abusive or obscene language in a public place, disturbs any lawful meeting in a public place, obstructs traffic, assembles with other people in a public place and refuses to disperse upon a lawful order of the authorities, or creates a hazardous condition through committing an act which serves no proper purposes. Disorderly conduct is a lower level charge, being a violation meaning that it is not a crime under New York Law and the conviction should be sealed. However, a person faces 15 days in jail upon conviction of Disorderly Conduct.
While the statute is vague in its terms, being charged with disorderly conduct is a serious situation. What this means is that a conviction for disorderly conduct can have serious implications for the person convicted. As mentioned above, the maximum sentence which can be imposed on a person who has been convicted of disorderly conduct, either through plea or trial, is a term of imprisonment for not more than fifteen (15) days. A person convicted of disorderly conduct can be sentenced to pay fines or perform community service hours.
Examples of situations which can lead to a charge of disorderly conduct is fighting in a public location such as a bar or restaurant, blocking the normal course of traffic, being too loud in public areas, and creating a dangerous condition. Disorderly conduct is often charged as a lesser included offense when a person is being charged with more serious offenses. On its own, charges of disorderly conduct are normally handled at a local level such as in town, village, or city courts.
Defendants commonly try to raise a defense to disorderly conduct through invoking their First Amendments rights such as the right to free speech. However, courts have interpreted free speech rights to not be absolute in the context of disorderly conduct charges. In other words, there are limitations on the constitutional rights of individuals which are commonly balanced against the interests of the safety of the public. For example, one cannot scream fire in a crowded movie theater when there is no actual fire in the movie theater. Doing so could cause public annoyance or alarm with no justification. In this situation, one could be charged and convicted of disorderly conduct for creating a dangerous situation which serves no legitimate purpose.
Disorderly conduct is a common offense that is used in plea deals when courts are dealing with higher offenses. Our office has negotiated many serious felony and misdemeanor level offenses down to a disorderly conduct violation for our clients. For example, if you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor, our team may work with the court and the applicable district attorney’s office to have you offered a plea deal in which you would be required to plead guilty to disorderly conduct in order to resolve the higher level charges.
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, call our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys now to discuss your options.