Disorderly conduct is one of the most common criminal offense charges. It is also one of the less serious charges as far as penalties go, which is why it is routinely used against individuals who the police don’t consider to be a real public menace but have engaged in conduct that warrants punishment. Disorderly conduct can be broadly defined as any sort of behavior committed in public that can be deemed as unruly or disruptive. This can include such things as fighting, public intoxication, playing loud music, loitering, being uncooperative with a police officer, and assembling unlawfully. It is sometimes called disturbing the peace or causing a common nuisance.
Although it is a minor crime, a conviction for disorderly conduct can result in significant fines, probation, community service, and even time in prison. And of course it will be a part of your criminal record, which can affect your employment and other facets of your life. If you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct, you need the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney with experience in handling this type of charge.
Defense Against Disorderly Conduct Charges In Utah
If you find yourself arrested and charged with a crime, it is vitally important that you retain the counsel of a defense attorney, even for misdemeanor charges like disorderly conduct. The ramifications of a conviction can be far-reaching and unpredictable. Here are some of the most common defenses in these cases.
- Self-defense. If you’ve been involved in a fight or an argument that resulted in physical contact, defense of your self or others around you can be a successful defense, if you can show that another person assaulted or threatened you or someone else in your presence. An experienced attorney will be able to weigh the available evidence and present it effectively in court.
- Conduct in a private setting – If you can show that you had a reasonable expectation to privacy in a situation then you may be able to avoid a disorderly conduct charge, though you may be charged with other types of offenses. For example, if you are charged as a result of an altercation in a private residence, disorderly conduct might be an inappropriate charge, though a domestic abuse or intimidation charge may not.
- Freedom of opinion and speech – It is not illegal for you to state an opinion or make a statement that someone else disagrees with, although doing so might cause someone to call the police on you. You have a right to your opinion and the freedom to state it but you don’t have a right to be profane, threatening, or try to incite others into violent behavior. An experienced lawyer will be able to advise you on the best defense in your case.
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There can also be mitigating factors in your case that might result in stiffer penalties, for instance if you have been charged previously for a similar offense. Don’t take chances with your life. Wasatch Defense Lawyers can help.