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.

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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.

Loitering Defense

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.

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