Charges of disorderly conduct, although a misdemeanor crime, should not be taken lightly. Disorderly conduct is defined broadly by law as fighting, making threats, engaging in violent or excessively noisy behavior, or creating dangerous or offensive conditions without good reason, and in order to inconvenience, annoy, or alarm others. Thus, the statute encompasses a broad range of behavior and leaves police offices with a lot of discretion in determining who to charge with disorderly conduct.
Closely related to disorderly conduct, but a separate crime, is “disturbing the peace.” This crime is defined as being disruptive in or near a public place where others are bothered. Again, it is broad and can include much behavior that most people would not think of as criminal.
Often, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace charges arise when someone is out socializing with friends and unintentionally causes a disturbance, or when an argument escalates slightly in a public area. Behavior doesn’t have to actually be violent, and no one needs to be injured, for someone to be charged with these offenses. Sometimes “offensive words” alone can constitute disorderly conduct.
If you are charged with disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace, or believe you may be charged with these crimes in the future, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction for disorderly conduct can result in a fine up to $150, and for a second conviction, up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $200. Thus, it is very important to fight a charge of disorderly conduct to protect your criminal record in case you find yourself facing these charges again, and also to avoid having to disclose a criminal record on future job applications, license or green card applications, or housing applications.
Disorderly Conduct Attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP
Our experienced disorderly conduct lawyers have successfully handled countless Disorderly Conduct cases in courthouses throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts over the past 40 years. There no such thing as an "unimportant" criminal charge.if it is happening to you or someone you care about take the time to call Boston criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation. Our lawyers are available around the clock seven days a week. Please Contact Us to schedule a free of charge initial consultation with one of our experienced disorderly conduct attorneys.