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How Virginia State Law Defines Disorderly Conduct

March 22, 2018

In the state of Virginia, an individual can be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct if he or she does something that alarms, annoys or inconveniences the public. If their behavior puts others' safety at risk due to their recklessness, it may warrant being charged with this crime as well.

If you walk out onto a roadway, into a public building or other public place and threaten to violently harm someone else or direct someone else to do so, then you too may be charged with disorderly conduct under the Code of Virginia Section § 18.2-415.

Disrupting a school, government, funeral, religious or literary meeting because you're intoxicated by alcohol or under the influence of drugs, whether you willfully consumed them or not, is also a violation of this law. Any violence you may threaten to inflict on others or may encourage others to engage in is also forbidden.

Virginia state law authorizes any building manager, landlord, or the person leading a meeting or responsible for putting on an event to remove those engaged in any of the aforementioned behaviors from the premises. State law also extends to protect from prosecution anyone else that one of the aforementioned individuals calls upon to help them as well.

State law additionally allows all municipalities, towns and counties to enact similar disorderly conduct laws in their own jurisdictions. The only stipulation regarding such laws is that no one engaging in such conduct should be charged with anything more than a misdemeanor in the first class for being drunk or disorderly in public.

If you've been arrested and charged with having been intoxicated in public, or having threatened the safety of others, then a Christiansburg attorney can advise you of your rights in your case.

Source: LIS Virginia Law, "§ 18.2-415. Disorderly conduct in public places.," accessed March 22, 2018