Disorderly conduct is a common offense in Arizona, and its broad definition makes it hard to point out exactly what behaviors are an offense under this charge. It includes a long list of behaviors and actions that can be considered a disturbance of the peace. However, there are some juvenile pranks, dares or seemingly harmless actions that may fall under the disorderly conduct umbrella and result in a lot of headaches.
What Are Some Examples of Behaviors That May Be Considered a Disturbance?
You may have seen quite a few movies in which kids in school pull the fire alarm just to cause panic. While at first this seems like a juvenile behavior that is not criminal, it is an example of disorderly conduct. Another example of harmless fun that can land you in jail for disorderly conduct is doing “donuts” or burnouts in a parking lot or street, as it causes a lot of noise and can be seen as a disturbance.
You can also get in trouble for having too many drinks and loudly yelling while out in public. If you are visibly intoxicated and acting in a way that is bothering other people on the street or making them feel threatened in any way, you could be charged with disorderly conduct. The same goes for throwing a party in a residential area with excessively loud music and a long guest list. Neighbors might call the police and complain about the noise and crowd taking up all the parking spots and you may be charged.
Is a Disorderly Conduct Charge Really That Serious?
Disorderly conduct charges may seem like just a slap-on-the-wrist offense, but the truth is that you can end up with a Class 1 misdemeanor on your record. Depending on the situation, you may have to spend time in jail and pay an expensive fine, but the worst part is that a misdemeanor will show up on any background checks you may submit to when finding employment, rental housing, or seeking education opportunities. If you are charged with disorderly conduct, take it seriously and reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
Can Disorderly Conduct Charges Be Easily Disputed?
Because they are so broad in scope, this type of charge can be disputed in court by a skilled attorney in many different ways, as it often goes against your constitutional rights. Your attorney can investigate what happened and work to convince the state to dismiss your charges or negotiate a better outcome. If you are facing disorderly conduct charges in Mesa, AZ, contact the Naegle Law Firm at (480) 378-9000.