Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor, but being convicted of it can result in heavy penalties. According to Maryland law, acting willfully in a disorderly manner that disturbs public peace constitutes disorderly conduct.
Examples may include public intoxication, engaging in immoral actions or soliciting another person to do so, making unnecessary noises and engaging in fights or other violent behaviors that threaten the safety of others.
Here is what you may need to do when charged with this offense:
Learn more about your case
Technicalities matter in disorderly conduct, from definitions to intent. Thus, it will be best to learn more about your case with the help of a professional. You should understand why you got the charge and how to defend it. Ignoring a disorderly conduct charge, deeming it insignificant, can result in serious consequences.
Avoid other offenses
When charged with disorderly conduct, you should avoid other violations, especially public ones. Multiple offenses can work to your disadvantage, as law enforcement can use them to weaken your defenses.
Can you fight a disorderly conduct charge?
You can fight a disorderly conduct charge using several defenses, including claiming protection under the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech. This can be a reliable defense if you are charged with making loud noises.
If you are charged with other offenses, such as public intoxication or fighting, you can use the involuntary action defense. You should have willfully acted in public for you to be charged. Thus, you can argue that you lacked control of your actions. For instance, you were not aware your drink/food/medicine contains alcohol or were acting out of self-defense.
You may need to get professional help when charged with disorderly conduct to avoid its consequences and protect your record.