You are out at a bar or a party having a wonderful time. The next thing you know, you are in the back of a police cruiser facing a disorderly conduct charge. If you don’t think you did anything wrong, do you have legal recourse? It depends. Here is some information you need to know about disorderly conduct charges.
What Is Disorderly Conduct?
Disorderly conduct is not a charge in all states, but many states such as Georgia have misdemeanor charges that fall under disorderly conduct. You can be arrested for disorderly conduct by a police officer for several reasons. If the police officer believes you are drunk in public, or if they think you are intoxicated on drugs, you can be charged with disorderly conduct. Also, if you are involved in a verbal fight, or creating a disturbance, you can be arrested as well. Like to play your music really loud? You could face a disorderly conduct arrest. There’s also a large umbrella category for disorderly conduct–a police officer can arrest you for disorderly conduct if he or she thinks you are a danger to public safety.
There are ways you can mitigate the effects of a disorderly conduct charge. If you were outside the bar, and a fight occurred, but you were not the one fighting, police may still arrest you for disorderly conduct. You may be able to get the prosecutor to drop the charges, especially if the people involved in the fight were arrested for assault. Also, if you can prove that you were peacefully protesting, and you weren’t blocking a road, it will be difficult to convict you on a disorderly conduct charge.
What if you were yelling at someone outside? Although police could charge you with disorderly conduct, in reality there’s no law against yelling, unless it is a slur, such as a racial slur, that would make others angry. Yelling is not a crime. Before you decide to plead guilty on any charge, you will want to consult with an attorney, to make sure you get your day in court.
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