Disorderly conduct is a broad term within the criminal justice system. To define it in the simplest way, an act of disorderly conduct is a deed which is done consciously or with an intent which can be damaging towards other individuals.
Some examples of disorderly conduct are disturbing the neighborhood peace, fighting in public, being abusive towards another person in a verbal or physical way, refusing to obey the law, reckless handling of a weapon or posing a threat in any way to the public safety.
Disorderly conduct laws are often called “umbrella laws”, meaning that a lot of different acts can be classified as such. However, this also means that additional charges which are more specific can be pressed against the individual depending on the situation.
Why Is Disorderly Conduct a Difficult Area of The Law?
Laws can change to reflect the changes in society and what is considered acceptable behavior. For example, laws on hate speech in public weren’t present for a long time in history until there was a good reason to make these changes.
However, this can be a problem for the average citizen. Something that was regarded acceptable a decade ago now might be considered as an act of breaking the law. In reality, you might not even be aware that you are involved in disorderly conduct since you were not aware of what the law classifies as unacceptable behavior. Blasting loud music on a parking lot at night might not seem like a wrong thing to do, but you will be surprised to learn that such an act is disturbing the public peace and quiet and that you might be held responsible.
If you find yourself being detained on something you did but you weren’t aware that it is against the law, the best thing to do is get in touch with a criminal defense solicitor who will be able to take over your case and fight to minimize the punishment.
What Are The Punishments for Disorderly Conduct in Arizona?
The majority of disorderly conduct acts are regarded as misdemeanors. However, they are usually considered a class 1 misdemeanor which is only one class below a felony.
If charged with a misdemeanor, you might be facing up to 6 months in prison, $2500 in fines and a possible probation period.
Disorderly conduct acts where firearms are included are regarded as felonies. Naturally, the charges pressed against the individual will be much more serious – not only a year in prison but also permanent damage to your criminal record.
Influencing Factors on the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct
Since disorderly conduct is such a vast term, choosing the right punishment can’t be the same for all. For instance, a person who disturbed the peace of the neighborhood with loud singing at night can’t face the same consequences as someone who was handling a weapon in public in a dangerous way.
When it comes to choosing the appropriate punishment, all of the circumstances are taken into consideration. People who have made an honest mistake without posing any danger to members of society can avoid jail time if their defense is solid. On the other hand, if a person responsible for disorderly conduct as a felony has had previous felony convictions, they might be facing high penalties.
A person who is detained for disorderly conduct might have not done the deed with a bad intention on their mind. It simply might have been an error in their reasoning of what is acceptable or not. To avoid long-term consequences, make sure you have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side who will be able to seek justice on your behalf.