DC Criminal Defense Lawyer

Disorderly Conduct


Charges of disorderly conduct in Washington D.C. are fairly common.  Because the definition of these offenses are so broad, they can be made to apply in many situations. If the police are annoyed by you and think you are creating a nuisance or a disturbance, disorderly conduct is the default criminal charge for the police to arrest you.

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You may have been partying with friends when the party got a little out of hand. Perhaps you got carried away in celebration of a big victory for your team.

Disorderly conduct charges in Washington DC also arise from out of town visitors here marches and protests. If you were arrested as an individual or as part of a group protest, give me a call to find out how I can help you fix this problem.

Whatever the case, facing criminal charges, no matter how common they are, it is still a criminal charge that can hurt your record and your future.

Any any conviction on your record is something that can follow you forever. Our goal with these charges is to find a way to avoid that permanent criminal record. Contact my offices today to discuss the details of your case and what sort of options are available to you.

Disorderly Conduct – Laws & Penalties

Disorderly conduct is a criminal charge that can be applied in a wide variety of situations. If the prosecution has probable cause that you committed any of the acts listed below, you could be facing this misdemeanor charge:

  • Acted to disturb, interfere, annoy, or offend others,
  • Gathered with others on a public street and refuse to move after order by the police,
  • Shouted or made noise during the night to disturb or annoy,
  • Physically interfered with someone by jostling them, crowding them, or placing your hands near their purse, wallet, or handbag, or
  • Caused a disturbance on public transportation.

If the charge results in a conviction, you could face up to 90 days in jail and fines of $250.

Ref: DC Code 22-1321

Unlawful Assembly/ Profane and Indecent Language

Another catch-all offense, you could be facing unlawful assembly charges if you gather in the street, or in or around a public building, or park and engage in loud behavior, obscene gesturing, rude comments, within earshot of other people passing by, or if you swear, curse, or use profane language in a public place where others can hear you.

This misdemeanor charge carries the potential of 90 days in jail and $250 in fines.

Ref: DC Code §22-1307

Riot or Inciting a Riot

A riot is defined by statute as a disturbance involving 5 or more people where violent conduct or the threat of violent conduct creates danger of property damage or personal injury.

If you engage in a riot or urge (incite) others to join in a riot, you can face up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines. But, if the riot results in the serious bodily injury of a person or in property damage amounting over $5,000 you can face a felony charge and up to 10 years in prison with $10,000 in fines.

Ref: DC Code §22-1322

Sometimes being in a crowd causes you to get carried away and act in a way that you normally wouldn’t. Although that’s no defense for criminal action, it could help explain why you are now facing a threat of jail time.

If you’re facing charges like these in the Washington D.C. area, contact my offices today.

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