It is normal to have fun and maybe get a little rowdy with your friends. Whether you are hanging out at a bar, attending an event or even just walking down the sidewalk, things can sometimes get a little out of hand. If you or someone with you gets too rambunctious or disrespectful, the police may charge you for disorderly conduct.
If you are facing criminal consequences for disturbing the peace, there may be a lot of confusion and anger. This is normal, but it is important to find out what the law says and what you can do to fight the charges.
Definition of disorderly conduct
According to North Carolina statutes, here are the behaviors that constitute disorderly conduct:
- Refusing official orders to leave the premises
- Blocking access to an establishment
- Fighting or threatening violence
- Using gestures or language to incite violence
- Disrupting school operations
- Interfering with a religious service
If you partake in any of these actions, you may face fines, probation, community service and up to six months of jail time. Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor, but multiple violations may result in a felony.
Failure to disperse
Another law in North Carolina specifically addresses failing to disperse. This refers to failing to comply with a law enforcement officer ordering you to leave a situation that the officer believes to be a riot. You may also face charges for this crime if you gather a group of people together and create a risk of injury or property damage.
Drunk and disorderly
Drunk and disorderly, or public intoxication, is a separate statute in North Carolina. It is important to note that simply being drunk in public is not a criminal offense. However, if you act in a disruptive manner in a public place while intoxicated, the police may charge you.
If you face any of these charges, consider mounting a defense to fight them.