Disorderly conduct is a criminal offense that may consist of one or more charges, such as public drunkenness, disturbing the peace, loitering, loud threats, or party violations.
A conviction of disorderly conduct in Arizona can result in a class 1 misdemeanor which is the most serious type of misdemeanor. If a weapon or dangerous instrument is involved, the charge may be upgraded to a class 6 felony. A disorderly conduct conviction requires the prosecutor to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, consult with a reputable Peoria disorderly conduct lawyer. Arizona criminal law can be complicated and requires the expertise and guidance of seasoned legal counsel.
Disorderly Conduct Laws in Peoria
ARS 13-2904 defines disorderly conduct as intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a person, family, or neighborhood. To be classified as disorderly conduct, the alleged offender must have engaged in one or more of the following behaviors:
- Fighting, violence, or other severely disruptive behavior
- Unreasonable noise
- Offensive or abusive language or gestures that are likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation
- Protracted commotion with intent to disturb a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering
- Refusal to obey a lawful order to disperse in order to maintain public safety due to a fire, hazard, or other emergency situation
- Reckless display, handle, or discharge of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon
While a charge of disorderly conduct may not seem like a big deal, the consequences can be very real. It is important to approach the situation carefully to minimize the likelihood of jail time. Peoria disorderly conduct lawyers are available to guide you through the process and help you reach the possible outcome.
Disorderly Conduct Penalties in Peoria
If you are charged with disorderly conduct in Arizona, you may face certain penalties that put your finances and future at risk. Most types of disorderly conduct fall under class 1 misdemeanors. As the highest classification of misdemeanor in the state, it carries the most serious penalties. If convicted, you could face up to six months in jail, up to five years of probation, and fines and fees upwards of $2,500 plus surcharges.
If your conviction of disorderly conduct involved the reckless discharge of a firearm, it is considered a class 6 felony under the classification of a “Dangerous Felony.” A class 6 felony typically results in a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one-and-one-half years, a presumptive prison term of two-and-one-quarter years, or a maximum of three years of incarceration.
If you have had one prior dangerous felony conviction, the penalty can be even more strict. With a past felony conviction, the punishment is a mandatory prison-only sentence of three years minimum, three-and-three-quarters years presumptive, or four-and-one-half years maximum of incarceration.
Defenses for Disorderly Conduct in Peoria
Without a strong defense, a charge of disorderly conduct could result in a criminal record. However, these charges can often be challenged when you have an excellent Peoria disorderly conduct lawyer on your side.
Many disorderly conduct defenses focus on the availability, or unavailability, of evidence. Oftentimes in these cases, there is no one to testify against the accused. The person who called the police may not want to be involved and any other people present at the time of the incident may not want to have you convicted. If the prosecution has weak or no evidence, it may be possible to have the charges dropped.
In addition to creating reasonable doubt, a criminal defense lawyer may choose a defense based on violation of rights granted by the constitution. There is some wiggle room when it comes to freedom of speech and citizens have the right to free speech if executed peacefully.
Another defense commonly used in disorderly conduct cases relate to justification. If your actions were brought about due to self-defense, your charges could be dropped. This may occur if you acted due to being provoked or threatened.
Call the Peoria JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.