Disorderly conduct is often considered a catchall term that covers a range of different minor crimes, though it also refers to a specific crime in the Penal Code. In most cases, these crimes are charged as misdemeanors, but convictions still create embarassments by giving you a permanent criminal record that could affect your present and future. It may be tempting to simply plead guilty and hope for the best, but this is a mistake. It can make things worse in the long run—you should fight the charges. If you were charged with trespassing, rioting, or a similar crime, call trustworthy Orange County disorderly conduct lawyer William M. Weinberg for a free consultation to talk about your legal options. Mr. Weinberg has nearly 30 years of experience and provides honest, dedicated representation to the accused.Disorderly Conduct
Several minor crimes are grouped together as disorderly conduct in California. These include trespassing, rioting, failing to disperse, disturbing the peace, panhandling, lewd conduct, prostitution, squatting, public intoxication.Penalties for Disorderly Conduct
Because the crimes grouped as disorderly conduct are usually charged as misdemeanors rather than felonies, if you are convicted you could go to jail for up to 6 months and be fined up to $1000. You may be allowed to perform community service if you’re unable to pay a fine.
Under PC 647, you can be charged with the misdemeanor of disorderly conduct if you solicit or engage in prostitution, panhandle, get drunk or high in public, loiter or wander on private property without permission, or invade another person’s privacy by recording or peeping on someone else for sexual arousal.
Other crimes known colloquially as disorderly conduct charges include disturbing the peace under PC 415 and trespassing under PC 415. You could be charged with disturbing the peace if you fought or challenged somebody to fight with you in public or bothered another person with loud, unreasonable noise. You could also be charged if you used offensive speech in public and it was likely to trigger a violent response.
The potential penalty if you’re convicted is imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum of 90 days and up to $400 in fines.
Criminal trespassing is also sometimes considered disorderly conduct and it occurs if you go onto or stay on another person’s property without their permission under Section 602. Trespassing may involve:
- Going onto another person’s property intending to damage it,
- Going onto and occupying someone else’s property without their permission,
- Going onto another’s property intending to interfere with or block business activities taking place there,
- Removing stones or dirt from another’s property,
- Cutting down trees on other people’s property without permission.
Rioting is also sometimes grouped under disorderly conduct crimes. Under PC 404, it is a misdemeanor involving threats or use of illegal force or violence in a public place. Penalties for rioting can include up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1000.Defenses Your Orange County Disorderly Conduct Lawyer Can Raise
Disorderly conduct charges are common. They move through the courts quickly, but the uncertainty and stress can take a toll on you. And even a misdemeanor criminal conviction can give you a permanent criminal record. You don’t want to have to explain that record to a prospective employer or landlord.
Our attorneys may be able to raise a legal defense to disorderly conduct charges. These potential defenses include:
- Arrest without probable cause
- Insufficient evidence
- Acts were not committed publicly
- False accusation.
If you are charged, you should call an experienced disorderly conduct lawyer who serves Orange County. Mr. Weinberg brings nearly 30 years of legal experience to developing strong defense strategies to protect clients. He is available for a free consultation to talk about the charges and your legal options. Contact him by filling out our online form or by calling his Irvine office at (949) 474-8008.