Many arrests have taken place simply due to misunderstanding. However, that does not make the situation any less serious or any easier to address. Police may bring charges against you, and even though you may not feel they fit the scenario that occurred, you still have to take them seriously and follow legal procedures for addressing them.

What you may have considered roughhousing or horseplay, another person may have considered disturbing the peace. As a result, your seemingly good time may have turned ugly when someone called the police, and you ended up under arrest. While your first instinct may be to explain yourself, it may work in your best interests to learn more about your predicament and gain the help of an attorney before speaking.

Did you disturb the peace?

Disturbing the peace often involves some violent element or one that otherwise causes a considerable disturbance, such as excessive noise. If you participated in any of the following actions, you likely did not disturb the peace or act in a disorderly manner:

  • Embarrassing another person
  • Accidentally bumping into someone
  • Participating in roughhousing or horseplay
  • Making obscene gestures, such as the middle finger
  • Acting in an annoying manner or in what someone else perceives as an annoying manner

Though someone may have taken offense to your actions or behaviors, it may not have constituted a criminal act.

Examples of disorderly conduct

Of course, some serious actions do fall into the category of disorderly conduct and can disturb the peace. Examples of these actions include the following:

  • Shouting in a manner that intends to get others to participate in a violence or act in an illegal manner
  • Allowing your dog to bark excessively in a neighborhood
  • Participating in a fight or trying to fight someone in a public area
  • Speaking offensively in efforts to cause someone else to have a violent reaction
  • Playing loud music at late hours and continuing to play it after a warning

Whatever action led to the accusation of disturbing the peace and your arrest, you still have the opportunity to defend against charges of disorderly conduct. Understanding the exact charges brought against you and your criminal defense options may help you address the situation you face. Because this type of predicament can be complex to handle, you may wish to enlist the help of a legal professional.