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What does the law say about disorderly conduct?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Spending time downtown with friends may start off innocently enough. However, if you or someone you are with starts causing a scene, the police may slap you with a charge for disorderly conduct.

A disorderly conduct charge may go along with additional charges, so getting one may lead to others. Learn more about what Arizona law says about disorderly conduct and the associated that may increase the punishment.

What is disorderly conduct?

Under the Arizona State Statutes, disorderly conduct stems from behavior in a public setting, such as a restaurant or parking lot. You may face charges if any or all of the following conditions occur:

  • You are loud and disruptive
  • You disrupt the peace, start fighting or threaten to do so
  • You use vulgar or offensive gestures to attempt to incite anger
  • You do not stop such behavior upon request of others
  • You threaten the safety of others

What kind of penalty does a disorderly conduct charge carry?

A disorderly conduct charge typically remains a misdemeanor when it remains the only offense. However, it may rise to a felony if you brandish a weapon or anything that the police believe could become one. Depending on your criminal record, you may need to pay a fine, or if waving a weapon, you may face jail time.

Is alcohol a factor?

You may face a disorderly charge without having consumed a drop of alcohol. Some states do not consider it a disorderly charge unless you are also intoxicated, but not so under Arizona law. However, the police may charge you with an additional charge if you do not pass a sobriety test, especially if they suspect you of driving a vehicle.