Being charged with disorderly conduct can be a shock, especially if you thought you were just exercising your right to free speech. Disorderly conduct charges do sometimes occur when they shouldn’t, which leads to people facing charges when the reality is that their rights were violated.
There are some significant differences between being disorderly and exercising your right to free speech. However, something as simple as being disrespectful to a police officer could lead to disorderly conduct charges.
What kinds of offenses fall under disorderly conduct charges?
The kinds of offenses that fall under the disorderly conduct charges include:
· Loud noise
· Using abusive language (extreme)
· Disturbing the peace
· Nonviolence encounters with police
· Public arguments
· Physical altercations and fighting
· Obstructing traffic
What’s surprising about this is that something as simple as asking a police officer a question about why you were stopped or why they’re asking you to leave an area could result in charges.
What kinds of penalties can you face for a disorderly conduct charge?
A disorderly conduct charge could lead to penalties such as:
· Fines of up to $1,000 per instance
· Imprisonment for up to 12 months
It’s important to know that other penalties are also possible, especially if additional charges are stacked with this one.
What should you do if you’re accused of disorderly conduct?
If you are accused of disorderly conduct, the first thing you need to do is to get in touch with your attorney. Remember not to try to explain yourself or talk your way out of trouble with the police, because you could be giving them more evidence against you.
Your attorney will review the case and what happened. They will make sure to defend your rights, such as your right to free speech thanks to the First Amendment. Strong defenses, such as showing that you weren’t in public or that your actions were in self-defense, may also help you eliminate any charges against you, so your attorney will work to put together a strong case. It is very important to get help with this kind of charge, because the penalties are significant.