Disorderly conduct is one of the most common criminal offenses in Arizona. If you are charged with disorderly conduct, a we can help you fight the charges, get a dismissal, reduction, or other positive outcome. Call our defense attorneys covering all of Arizona for a consultation on the specifics of your case today!
Disorderly conduct, also referred to as disturbing the peace, is very common. This law is kind of a catch-all for disruptive behavior. In particular, if a police officer is annoyed with you, he or she will often arrest you for disorderly conduct. It is a very subjective charge, and for that reason we can often fight the charges and claim the alleged disruptive behavior is overstated.
Whether you were disrupting your neighborhood with a loud party, or arguing with someone in public-the charge is the same. However, the circumstances do affect how severe your possible sentence could be if you are found guilty.
There are a number of circumstances that may warrant a disorderly conduct charge:
- engaging in fighting or seriously disruptive behavior
- making “unreasonable” noise
- using abusive or offensive language to try and provoke someone
- making a commotion to disrupt business
- refusing to leave an area as directed by officials (for instance: the scene of a fire or emergency)
- recklessly handling or displaying a firearm.
Any of these must be done with intent to disturb the peace of a neighborhood, family, or persons.
Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Arizona
In most situations, disorderly conduct is a class 1 misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanors are the highest level of misdemeanor in the State of Arizona. They carry a potential of up to 6 months in prison and fines of $2,500.
If you are charged with disorderly conduct involving a firearm, you are facing class 6 felony charges.
Felony disorderly conduct carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a conviction would label you as a convicted felon, which is something that will follow you forever.
See: Arizona Disorderly Conduct Laws ARS 13-2904
Arizona Loitering Laws
Loitering is another crime which could be considered a disruption of the peace. If you are charged with loitering, you could be sentenced to a maximum of 6 months in prison and fines of up to $2,500.
You may be charged with loitering if you:
- are present in a public place and solicit sex
- are in a transportation facility (bus stop, train station) attempting to sell something despite being asked to cease
- beg in public for money
- gamble in an unauthorized area
- are present in a school or on the grounds of any educational institution with no legitimate business after being asked to leave.
See: Arizona Loitering Laws ARS 13-2905
Arizona Criminal Nuisance Laws & Penalties
Criminal nuisance is the act of recklessly maintaining a condition which puts others at a safety or health risk, or maintaining premises where people gather to engage in illegal activity.
This crime is considered a class 3 misdemeanor and carries a potential sentence of $500 in fines and less than one year in jail.
See: Arizona Criminal Nuisance Laws ARS 13-2908
Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, loitering, or criminal nuisance, the situation is serious, and the outcome can seriously impact your life. No criminal charge is a good criminal charge! Our experienced criminal defense team knows the Arizona criminal courts and the law. We can help make sure you are getting the best possible results every step of the way.
Contacting a skilled and experienced attorney should be your first step when you are being charged with any crime. The consultation is free, so why not find out what we can do to help you.