Washington DC Disorderly Conduct Lawyer

Some of the most open-ended and versatile criminal charges that police can accuse a defendant of committing are those of disorderly conduct. This can include behavior that ranges from causing fear of property damage in another’s mind to playing loud music, to public urination.

While these are minor offenses, a conviction could still result in a significant fine, a jail sentence, and the creation of a permanent criminal record. Because of this, it is essential that defendants facing allegations of disorderly conduct take the allegations seriously.

Hiring a Washington DC disorderly conduct lawyer could help to prevent the negative effects of a conviction. Whether a person’s goal is to come to a fair plea deal in the hopes of avoiding jail time or is to fight the charges at trial, a persistent attorney could help make those goals a reality.

Examples of Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct tends to be the charge used by police when they want to get a disruptive person off the streets and into custody. Still, there are specific definitions that the defendant’s behavior must meet for the arrest to be legal. According to DC Code §22-1321, examples of disorderly conduct include:

  • Acting in a way in public that is likely to incite violence
  • Engaging in loud or disruptive behavior that is intended to disrupt a legal public gathering
  • Making loud noise between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. that is likely to disturb people at home
  • Urinating or defecating in public
  • Jostling or crowding another person

Many of these definitions are open to interpretation. Ultimately, it is for a jury to decide if the defendant’s actions meet these definitions beyond a reasonable doubt. A Washington DC disorderly conduct lawyer could help to cross-examine witnesses and discredit evidence to create this reasonable doubt.

The Potential Consequences for Conviction

Disorderly conduct is always a misdemeanor level crime. However, a conviction could still have disastrous consequences for a defendant. The law states that a conviction could result in a jail term of up to 90 days. Thankfully, this is unlikely unless the defendant already has a lengthy criminal record. The law also may require a defendant to pay a heavy fine.

It is also possible that a defendant may be sentenced to probation. Typically, this includes a no-contact order with any specific victim or attendance in substance abuse counseling if this was a cause of the poor behavior. If a defendant completes these terms of probation, the charge may be removed from their record.

If the court finds the defendant guilty, this conviction will remain on a defendant’s criminal record. This could affect many portions of their lives from their job prospects to where they can live. It is essential that people protect their futures, even in the event of a minor charge like disorderly conduct.

Speaking with a Washington DC Disorderly Conduct Attorney

Allegations of disorderly conduct may seem like a minor inconvenience. However, a conviction could result in significant jail time, the payment of stiff fines, and the creation of a criminal record. This could complicate a defendant’s life for years to come.

A Washington DC disorderly conduct lawyer fight to prevent this from happening. Attorneys work with individuals to identify realistic goals and to develop a strategy to achieve them in court. Whether these goals are to come to a plea deal for a term of probation or to present a case to a jury at trial, a disorderly conduct lawyer may be able to help. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.