Disorderly conduct is one of the most common charges of all personal crimes. The police love to issue this charge—also known as disturbing the peace or drunk and disorderly—because it's an easy "catch-all" for most types of inappropriate behavior.
Types of Disorderly Conduct in Arizona
Disorderly conduct in Arizona is covered in statute A.R.S. 13-2904. It encompasses six different types of behavior committed with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family, or person.
- Fighting or engaging in violent or seriously disruptive behavior
- Unreasonable noise
- Abusive or offensive language or gestures likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation
- Making any protracted commotion, utterance, or display with the intent to prevent the activities of or business of a lawful meeting, gathering, or procession
- Refusing to obey a lawful order to disperse that was related to fire, a hazard, or any other public safety emergency
- Recklessly handling, displaying, or discharging a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
Officers have a great deal of discretion in determining whether specific actions fit the criteria for this charge, which is why disorderly conduct arrests as so common throughout Arizona.
Penalties for Disorderly Conduct
Most types of disorderly conduct are Class 1 misdemeanors. A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to six months in jail, up to five years probation, and fines of $2,500 plus surcharges.
When the crime involves firearms or other deadly weapons, disorderly conduct is raised to a Class 6 felony. This carries a punishment of a minimum prison sentence of one and a half years and a maximum of three years in prison. If you have a prior felony conviction, you will have to do the "prison only" sentence, which is a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years.
Disorderly conduct charges are often accompanied by additional charges for assault, domestic violence, or alcohol-related offenses.
You Need a Skilled Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Disorderly conduct charges are subjective by nature, which is why skilled representation is essential. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers have a record of success in disorderly conduct cases by attacking witness credibility and getting cases dismissed. Whether it's fighting, public intoxication, or another disorderly conduct crime, they will fight to protect your rights and keep you out of jail.
Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC aggressively defends clients across Northern Arizona, including Flagstaff Municipal Court, Flagstaff Justice Court, Williams Justice Court, Page Magistrate Court, Page Municipal Court, and all courts in Sedona, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Prescott, Holbrook, Seligman, Kingman, Winslow, and more. Contact us today for a free consultation.