Disorderly Conduct Law Pennsylvania
Posted by: Michael Kotik Attorney at LegalPhilly.com
Disorderly conduct is defined as a person who intentionally causes public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creates a risk to the public. Risks could include engaging in fights or threatening violent behavior, making obscene gestures, or creating hazardous or offensive conditions that’s serves no legitimate purpose.
A wide variety of circumstances that can be classified as “disorderly conduct” and charged as either a misdemeanor in the third degree or a summary of offense. The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail, while the summary offense has a maximum penalty of ninety days in jail.
Some of the most common acts that can be classified as disorderly conduct include:
- Public drunkenness (which may be coupled with a DWI or DUI)
- Disturbance of the peace
- Loitering, or
- Obstructing traffic
Although the charge is not to be meant as a catchall, without firm absolutes of the disorderly conduct statue, this is a common charge that can be easily applied by most arresting police officers. Since it is subjective, however, the penalties are up to the judge’s discretion based on the severity of the charge.
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Michael N. Kotik, Esq. (PA, NJ)