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What Falls Under the Umbrella of Drunk and Disorderly Conduct?

May 4, 2018

Public drunkenness, disturbing the peace and loitering are just some of the many different offenses that may lead to you being charged with disorderly conduct. This is one of the reasons that many legal experts refer to this type of crime as a "catch all" offense.

Essentially, any person engaging in obnoxious or otherwise disruptive behavior may be charmed with this crime, provided that no one's safety is put put in severe jeopardy because of said behavior.

What actions constitute drunk or disorderly conduct vary from depending on the jurisdiction. The punishments assessed in such cases can be quite different as well. In some jurisdictions, a violation of an open container law may elicit a disorderly conduct charge. In other cases, you may have to interrupt a public city council meeting for officers to arrest you on suspicion of such a crime.

How the crime of disorderly conduct is punished many also vary from place to place. In some cases, and especially when it comes to relatively minor offenses, police officers may simply issue citations requiring the payment of a nominal fee. These citations may result in you ending up with a misdemeanor on your record.

When it comes to more serious instances of public intoxication or disruptive or dangerous behavior, you may be arrested. In a case such as this, you'll likely have to be bailed out of jail. Although it's rare for a drunk or disorderly conduct charge to ever result in a felony conviction, it's possible for more serious offenses to be filed.

Charges such as this, even if they are prosecuted only misdemeanor offenses, can follow you around for a lifetime, making it hard for you to secure employment in the future. This is why it's imperative that you seek out the advise of a competent Christiansburg drunk and disorderly conduct attorney if you're facing charges. He or she can advise you of potential defense strategies in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Disorderly conduct," accessed May 04, 2018