What constitutes disorderly conduct?

Disorderly conduct is a very broad category of offenses that encompass a multitude of different acts or behaviors that violate and disrupt public order. Police or other law enforcement officers may arrest people whose public behavior is disruptive or offensive or whose actions interfere with other people’s enjoyment of public spaces. Any kind of disruptive conduct including loitering, fighting, being unreasonably noisy, and otherwise disturbing the peace can fall under the definition of disorderly conduct.

According to California Penal Code § 647, disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor crime punishable for up to one year in jail for anyone found guilty of lewd conduct in public. This could include loitering, prowling, soliciting, prostitution, public intoxication and much more. Alcohol or drugs are frequently involved, but not always, and in many states a criminal charge of disorderly conduct does not require the offender’s use of alcohol

At times certain conduct falls into the disorderly conduct category

Customers may think they are always right, but at times certain conduct falls into the disorderly category. That was the case at an Arizona McDonald’s. A couple called 911 after discovering that hash browns were missing from their order and through their own misdeeds, they now face disorderly conduct charges.

In the 9 o’clock hour, 31-year-old Michael Smith called 911 from McDonald’s as he and his wife Nova argued with a manager about two hash browns missing from their order.

Smith says the situation escalated because he didn’t like the way the manager was talking to his wife and that they wouldn’t give him the money for the hash browns back. Calling 911 proved to be the exact wrong thing to do.

Smith was cited with disorderly conduct. His wife was cited for disorderly conduct and assault with no injury for throwing a bag of food at an employee. They face misdemeanor charges.

Disorderly conduct may seem like a relatively minor charge

Disorderly conduct may seem like a relatively minor charge, but it could have long term implications especially in regards to current employment or possible future employment. Many employers run a background check on applicants before they even call them in for an interview. You may never be considered for the job. Simply being arrested can be a traumatic experience. The whole experience of being arrested for disorderly conduct should be approached with the help of an experienced criminal lawyer who will protect your rights.

Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman