Disorderly Conduct Charges Can Be Confusing
Disorderly Conduct is what we think of as a "catch-all" criminal charge. This means, if the police don't have anything else to charge a person with, they may arrest or cite for Disorderly Conduct. Disorderly Conduct is defined under A.R.S 13-2904 . Essentially, if a person engages in "disruptive behavior," they can be charged with Disorderly Conduct. Disorderly Conduct is a Class 1 Misdemeanor - the most serious misdemeanor category. Further, if the "disruptive behavior" occurred around a relative, roommate or boyfriend/girlfriend, the person accused will be charged with Domestic Violence.
Why Am I Being Charged With Disorderly Conduct
Our attorneys have been practicing law in Lake Havasu since 2010. During this time, we have represented hundreds, if not thousands of clients. We have heard every single type of story you could possibly think of. Half of our clients are from Lake Havasu and the other half are from other States - mostly California. While not always, more often than not, Disorderly Conduct charges occurred while a person was consuming alcohol. The common facts we see include:
- Arguing or yelling inside of a house, apartment or hotel room. Unfortunately, a complete stranger can call the police on a couple engaging in an argument behind closed doors. If the police arrive and are able to confirm that an argument took place and someone's peace was disturbed, they will cite or arrest a person for Disorderly Conduct
- Engaging in a fight at a bar or club. This situation is extremely common in Lake Havasu. The approach that we often take in this situation is that our client was not the aggressor or that the police have the entirely wrong person.
What are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct
While Disorderly Conduct is the same level of misdemeanor as a DUI, Assault and Criminal Damages, the penalties can be different. Unlike other class 1 misdemeanors, if a person is only charged with Disorderly Conduct, we may be able to negotiate an outcome with the court that could prevent you from having a criminal conviction on their record. Often times, our attorneys are very good at presenting to the court that our clients have no prior criminal history, have a professional job, and this was a one time occurrence. If we are successful at demonstrating our client's good character, in exchange for community service or alcohol counseling, we may be able to have the charges dismissed. This approach can be extremely involved, it will take our attorneys and clients to work closely to ensure they are on the same page and receive all the mitigation necessary from our clients to ensure we make the most effective presentation.
Will I Go To Jail for Disorderly Conduct
Lake Havasu Court can be extremely strict on Disorderly Conduct charges. The more violations you have been cited for, the better chance you have of the judge sentencing you to jail. It's not worth trying to represent yourself for a Disorderly Conduct charge. The Lake Havasu Court is very good at trying to resolve criminal cases as quickly as possible - almost forcing people into taking bad plea agreements. When you hire a lawyer, we have the ability to slow your case down to do a thorough investigation and ensure you receive the best possible outcome.