Anne Arundel Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
If you are charged with disorderly conduct, you may not even be sure what led you to face these charges. Disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace are very generalized criminal offenses under Maryland law, which encompass a wide variety of behaviors. For example, you might end up facing disorderly conduct charges after being involved in an altercation at a bar, a domestic violence incident, a public protest, or even a mere argument in public.
Whatever situation results in your arrest on these types of charges, an Anne Arundel disorderly conduct lawyer may be able to assist you in fighting these charges. Before proceeding to court, reach out to a skilled defense lawyer.
Disorderly Conduct Charges and Penalties
Pursuant to Maryland Code §10-201, it is illegal to willfully act in a disorderly manner that disturbs the public peace. Under this same code section, other disorderly conduct behaviors also are prohibited, including:
- Intentionally failing to obey a law enforcement officer that makes an order to prevent a disturbance of the peace
- Intentionally disturbing the peace of persons on their land or premises, or a beach adjacent to residential property by making an unreasonably loud noise or acting disorderly
- Intentionally disturbing the peace of others in a public place or on a public form of transportation by making an unreasonably loud noise
- Blocking another’s access to a public place
- Displaying offensive actions that others find disturbing
Public places where individuals may be subject to disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace allegations include restaurants, stores, bars, parking lots, streets, parks, the common areas in apartment buildings, hotels, amusement parks, swimming pools, schools, churches, and places where people go for the purposes of transportation.
Disorderly conduct typically is considered to be a misdemeanor criminal offense that can result in imprisonment for no more than 60 days or a fine of not more than $500, or both. Disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct charges also can accompany other charges, such as picketing with the intent to harass the occupants of a building, public intoxication, or refusing to leave a public building when individuals have no lawful purpose for being there. Furthermore, under §10-202, individuals who keep a disorderly house are subject to misdemeanor charges, which can result in a jail sentence ranging from ten days to six months, and a fine ranging from $50 to $300.
Defenses Against Disorderly Conduct Charges
A disorderly conduct charge frequently occurs in conjunction with another offense. For example, a person could be arrested for an alleged theft or DUI offense, and their behavior during that encounter could potentially lead to a disorderly conduct charge.
In many cases, police officers rush to arrest individuals on disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace charges as a means of breaking up conflicts or situations that they perceive to be getting out of control. Another common situation resulting in disorderly conduct charges would be a large sports stadium or a public protest over a controversial issue, where police are trying to maintain order in a relatively stressful situation. These kinds of circumstances may lead to over-zealous arrests without sufficient evidence of any wrongdoing. Regardless of the situation, an accomplished Anne Arundel disorderly conduct lawyer could review the factors surrounding the alleged incident and potentially advocate on behalf of an accused individual.
Work with an Anne Arundel Disorderly Conduct Attorney Today
Although disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor charge, it still can result in a jail sentence and place a black mark on your criminal history that may impact your job, your family, and other aspects of your personal life. Since this is a defensible criminal offense in many cases, enlisting the advice of an Anne Arundel disorderly conduct lawyer may be an integral part of fighting back against these charges.
Do not delay in contacting a skilled criminal defense attorney who may be able to assess your case, evaluate your options, and present the alternatives that are available to you, given the particular circumstances in your case.