Tempe Disorderly Conduct Lawyer

Knowledgeable Maricopa County Criminal Lawyer Defending Client Charged With Disturbing the Peace

Disorderly conduct is a crime prosecutors charge when they believe that someone’s actions disrupted or disturbed the peace. While disorderly conduct is usually a misdemeanor offense, in some cases, it can be a felony. Regardless, it is important to take these charges seriously, as a conviction will not only result in a criminal record but can also carry significant fines and a lengthy term of probation.

At the Law Office of James E. Novak, our experienced Tempe disorderly conduct lawyer knows how to create compelling defenses designed to minimize or even eliminate any impact your arrest has on your future. We take a comprehensive approach to every case we handle, reviewing all possible defenses with you before determining which is most likely to result in an acquittal.

What is Disorderly Conduct in Arizona?

In Arizona, the crime of disorderly conduct, often referred to as "disturbing the peace," encompasses a range of behaviors that disrupt public order or peace. This offense is outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-2904, which defines disorderly conduct as knowingly engaging in actions that are likely to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family, or person.

A.R.S. § 13-2904 lists several ways someone can commit the crime of disorderly conduct, including the following:

Engaging in Fighting, Violent, or Seriously Disruptive Behavior: This is perhaps the most recognizable form of disorderly conduct. It includes physical fights and other forms of violence that disrupt public order.

Making Unreasonable Noise: This involves creating loud or disruptive noises that disturb others, particularly in residential areas or during evening hours.

Using Abusive or Offensive Language: Disorderly conduct can include using language or gestures that are likely to provoke an immediate physical retaliation from another.

Making a Commotion to Prevent Business Operations: This includes causing disturbances that hinder or prevent the normal operations of a business or gathering. However, lawful protests protected under the First Amendment are not considered disorderly conduct.

Refusing to Disperse: This comes up when someone refuses to leave an area after being directed to do so by a law enforcement officer, particularly in situations where their presence is causing or likely to cause a disturbance.

Recklessly Handling, Displaying, or Discharging a Deadly Weapon or Dangerous Instrument: This involves actions with a weapon that create a risk of causing harm or fear in others. For example, taking out a firearm in public and making a scene could constitute disorderly conduct.

An experienced Tempe disorderly conduct lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and develop a strong defense.

Penalties for a Tempe Disorderly Conduct Conviction

Disorderly conduct in Arizona is typically charged as a misdemeanor, though the classification can vary based on specific circumstances, such as whether a weapon was involved. Penalties can include fines, community service, probation, and jail time. The severity of the punishment often depends on factors like the nature of the conduct, the presence of a weapon, and the defendant's criminal history.

When graded as a misdemeanor, disorderly conduct is a Class 1 misdemeanor, carrying up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, as a felony, disorderly conduct is considered a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by up to a year in jail. Additionally, a conviction for disorderly conduct can have lasting impacts, such as making it harder to go to school or obtain a job.

Speak With a Respected Tempe Disorderly Conduct Lawyer About Your Case Today

If you were recently arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in Tempe, it’s important you take a few minutes to understand what’s at stake and what you can do to decrease the chance of a conviction. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, our clients regularly call upon us to help them ensure their case ends in the best result possible. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients and make ourselves available to you whenever a question or concern comes up. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with our Tempe disorderly conduct lawyer today, call 480-413-1499. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form.