Disorderly Conduct

Under Pennsylvania criminal laws, disorderly conduct is defined as “intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof” in a manner such as:

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  • fighting/threatening/violent behavior
  • unreasonable noise
  • obscene language or gestures
  • creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.

Any criminal charge is a serious legal matter, and can have significant consequences that affect the rest of your life. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to find out what legal options and defenses you may have.

Pennsylvania Disorderly Conduct Penalties

Disorderly Conduct is charged as a third degree misdemeanor in cases where the “intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to desist.”

A 3rd degree misdemeanor (Misdemeanor 3) has a maximum penalty of up to 1 year in prison.

In all other cases, Pennsylvania laws dictate that a disorderly conduct charge be issued as a summary offense. A summary offense has a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail.

PA Disorderly Conduct Defense Strategies

There are a number of ways to fight a charge like disorderly conduct. The police may end up charging you with disorderly conduct if you do something to annoy them, even if the statute doesn’t fit exactly. We might argue for a dismissal in such a case.

In other situations, we can might try to negotiate the charges down from a misdemeanor to a summary offense, or offer other remedies to avoid a guilty finding. The specific legal tactics will always depend on the facts of the case, and the evidence against you.

Please call for a free consultation if you’ve been arrested or accused of disorderly conduct in ¬†Pennsylvania. We will offer you some advice on what you can do, and suggest some possible defenses, and how I can help you. Call now.


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