An Explanation of Disorderly Conduct in Arizona
If you cause a disturbance and law enforcement is summoned to the scene, you will likely be charged with disorderly conduct. This is a catch-all charge as the state does not have specific penalties for public intoxication or drunk and disorderly. Most other states consider public intoxication along with drunk and disorderly as minor offenses. However, the state of Arizona considers this misbehavior as a class 1 misdemeanor. The potential penalty for being found guilty of such a misdemeanor is six months in jail along with a $2,500 fine and three years of probation. Though disorderly conduct might not seem like a big deal based on what you might have heard or seen on TV, you will still need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to avoid or at least minimize your penalty.
Disorderly Conduct Specifics in Arizona
Arizona’s law 13-2904 explains exactly what disorderly conduct is. The law is quite broad in scope, empowering police officers to detain those who behave in a manner that causes disruption. The law states disorderly conduct occurs when an individual intends to disturb the quiet or peace of a neighborhood, person or family. Activity ranging from an unreasonable level of noise to violent behavior, recklessly handling a deadly or dangerous instrument, failing to obey dispersal orders in the event of an emergency or creating a commotion that precludes public activity all qualify disorderly conduct.
Even using abusive or obscene language meant to provoke another individual constitutes disorderly conduct. In short, the law was written with such broad language to serve the public’s best interest and remove those who might pose a threat or cause additional misconduct.
It is Possible to Beat a Disorderly Conduct Charge
Everything you say while you are in the custody of police following the event that spurred the charge has the potential to be used against you in a court of law. When in doubt, remain silent, state you would like to speak with your attorney and that you will consider speaking to law enforcement when your attorney is present. The bottom line is you have the right to remain silent even if police appear to have evidence that you disturbed the peace and are guilty of disorderly conduct.
Though the details provided above might make it seem as though it is nearly impossible to beat a disorderly conduct charge, it is possible with the assistance of a savvy attorney. Find an attorney who is willing to review all the subtleties of the evidence of your case and personalize a legal strategy specifically for you. The overarching aim should be getting the charges reduced or dropped to prevent jail time. Keep in mind, Arizona considers disorderly conduct to be a serious offense, meaning it spurs a permanent arrest record so it is in your interest to put up a fight. If you do not have a criminal record, it might be possible to negotiate with the court to prevent jail time and also prevent a criminal record.
Time is of the essence after you are charged with disorderly conduct in Arizona. Connect with an attorney as soon as possible and this professional will have that much more of an opportunity to create the best possible legal strategy based on the facts of the case. Be patient, let the legal process play out with the assistance of your attorney and your attorney might get the charges reduced or even dropped.