“Disorderly conduct” is a catch-all misdemeanor charge, with fairly broad and vague definitions. The overarching principle of the law is that it prohibits anyone from “recklessly” causing “inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to another” through these specific actions:
• Engaging in fighting, in threatening harm to persons or property, or in violent or turbulent behavior;
• Making unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display or communicating unwarranted and grossly abusive language to any person;
• Insulting, taunting, or challenging another, under circumstances in which that conduct is likely to provoke a violent response;
• Hindering or preventing the movement of persons on a public street, road, highway, or right-of-way, or to, from, within, or upon public or private property, so as to interfere with the rights of others, and by any act that serves no lawful and reasonable purpose of the offender;
• Creating a condition that is physically offensive to persons or that presents a risk of physical harm to persons or property, by any act that serves no lawful and reasonable purpose of the offender.
According to Ohio law, if you are “voluntarily intoxicated,” you are prohibited from:
• “In a public place or in the presence of two or more persons, engage in conduct likely to be offensive or to cause inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to persons of ordinary sensibilities, which conduct the offender, if the offender were not intoxicated, should know is likely to have that effect on others;
• Engage in conduct or create a condition that presents a risk of physical harm to the offender or another, or to the property of another.”
These are pretty broad restrictions and law enforcement officials, by virtue of their position, have the latitude to apply them with a great amount of subjectivity. But you are not required to simply accept their subjective judgment of your actions as the final answer. You can and should fight disorderly conduct charges. Even though this is often considered a “minor” misdemeanor, if you are convicted you will have a criminal record. A criminal record could damage future employment prospects and create other negative consequences for you. Based on your individual circumstances, you and your criminal defense attorney can work to mount a defense against these charges and prevail against them.
Do you need a criminal defense attorney in Columbus, Ohio?
If you are facing criminal charges for disorderly conduct, you need an attorney who knows the law and can help you navigate these serious charges. Get the representation of a skilled and trusted attorney who can give you the help you need. The Maher Law Firm can help make sure that your rights are protected. Founding attorney, Colin Maher has in-depth knowledge and experience working with disorderly conduct cases and he will put his skills at your service. Call The Maher Law Firm today for a free consultation at 614-205-2208 or contact us online.