Disorderly Conduct Defense
Houston Disorderly Conduct Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
Disorderly conduct is a relatively minor criminal charge, but even a misdemeanor conviction can make life difficult. Disorderly behavior charges should be vigorously resisted with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Distrubing The Peace Charges
Disorderly conduct is one of those catch-all criminal charges that are subject to broad interpretation. Texas law doesn’t even require a police officer to witness the disorderly incident. If it seems reasonable that a suspect violated a Texas disturbing the peace law, the police officer has the authority to issue a citation.
Simply being found in the midst of a suspicious circumstance or location is sufficient grounds for charging a suspect with disorderly conduct. Disturbing the peace can be interpreted to include a wide spectrum of disrespectful or disruptive behaviors. The following forms of conduct may constitute disorderly conduct under Texas Law Penal Code:
- Using “fighting words”, including abusive, vulgar, profane or indecent language that could incite a physical altercation
- Using an obscene gesture that could incite a physical altercation
- Using chemicals to produce an unreasonable or noxious odor
- Clearly threaten or verbally abuse another person
- Making a sound that is unreasonable (above 85 decibels) in a public place or someone else’s private residence after being warned by a police officer
- Fighting with another person
- Firing a gun or displaying a gun to frighten another person
- Exposing genitals or anus in an offensive manner
- Peeking into a motel room, bathroom, shower stall or private residence for lewd or illegal purposes
Disorderly Conduct Penalties
It’s not all that difficult to become the subject of a drunk in public charge. Loud parties, barroom incidents and other social occasions can easily erupt into disorderly behavior. A typical disorderly conduct offense will result in a Class C misdemeanor conviction and a fine of no more than $500. Firing a gun in public is a Class B misdemeanor crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. An offender may also be sentenced to probation if a gun was involved.
A criminal record can limit a defendant’s access to desirable employment and educational opportunities. An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows how to mount an effective defense against a disturbing the peace charge.