Worcester Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
No one leaves their home expecting to be arrested for disorderly conduct. However, some places or events, particularly when crowds of people are gathered there, can quickly dissipate into chaos, which often gives rise to behaviors or actions that might constitute disorderly conduct.
For individuals with clear criminal records who have never been arrested before, the experience of being charged with disorderly conduct can be alarming and confusing.
Actions that May Qualify as Disorderly Conduct
Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 10-201, deliberately acting in a disorderly manner that disturbs the public is prohibited. This code section also lists other behaviors that are prohibited as disorderly conduct.
This conduct includes failing to obey a law enforcement officer who issues an order to prevent a disturbance of the peace, disturbing individuals at various places by making unreasonably loud noises or acting disorderly, blocking another’s access to a public place or disturbing others by displaying offensive actions.
Additionally, this section prohibits building or burning a bonfire on any property, including the beach, between the hours of 1:00 and 5:00 a.m. Disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace may occur in any public place, such as stores, restaurants, parking lots, parks, and bus or train stations, among other places. However, it also could occur on private property if the actions disturb the peace of the neighbors or others who are nearby.
Contexts in Which Disorderly Conduct May Occur
Some events or places tend to be more prone to individuals being charged with disorderly conduct than others. For example, areas where people tend to congregate, such as public meetings, parks, sporting events, and bars all are a common source of behaviors that lead to disorderly conduct charges. Unsurprisingly, venues that serve alcohol also may produce individuals who ultimately face disorderly conduct charges.
There are some situations that are exempt from Maryland’s disorderly conduct laws. For instance, it is not a violation of § 10-201 for picketing during a labor dispute or at individuals’ homes that also serve as a business. Holding a public meeting on premises typically used for public discussions also does not constitute the offense of disorderly conduct.
Penalties for a Disorderly Conduct Conviction and Other Related Criminal Offenses
Maryland law establishes disorderly conduct as a misdemeanor. A conviction for disorderly conduct can result in a jail sentence of up to 60 days and a maximum $500 fine.
There are a variety of other criminal offenses that may be charged for behaviors similar to disorderly conduct, or in conjunction with disorderly conduct charges. These offenses include:
- Keeping a disorderly house
- Picketing with the intent to harass the occupants of a building
- Engaging in public intoxication
- Refusing to leave a public building when there is no lawful purpose for the individuals being in the public building
- Disrupting or interfering with a commercial athletic contest
- Preventing another from entering a medical facility by physically detaining or obstructing the individual
Working with a Worcester Disorderly Conduct Attorney
If you are facing charges of disorderly conduct or any related criminal offenses, you undoubtedly are concerned about your future and worried that you will end up in jail.
A Worcester disorderly conduct lawyer might be able to evaluate the facts of your case, help you prepare for any court hearings, and educate you as to how courts normally handle these types of cases.
With the help of a criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to resolve your charges with a minimal impact on your life.