Disorderly Conduct Defense

Disorderly Conduct Defense

For people in their teens and early 20s, public disturbances or inappropriate public displays might be part and parcel of their social landscape. But whether it’s fighting words after the high school football game or a rowdy, intoxicated showing on a college campus, disorderly conduct charges can cause major problems down the road.

As misdemeanors, Georgia disorderly conduct convictions come with the possibility of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Probation is also likely, which can make it hard to keep up with work responsibilities or out of state college. While many people tend to underestimate misdemeanor charges like disorderly conduct, a conviction can still do major damage to your plans for the future. At Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm, we work to mount a strong defense for disorderly conduct charges.

What is disorderly conduct?

States define disorderly conduct in various ways, but in Georgia, it’s defined as follows by O.C.G.A. 16-11-39: 

A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct when such person commits any of the following:

  • Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby such person is placed in reasonable fear of the safety of such person’s life, limb or health.
  • Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby the property of such person is placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed.
  • Without provocation, uses to or of another person in such other person’s presence, opprobrious or abusive words which by their very utterance tend to incite to an immediate breach of the peace […], or words commonly called “fighting words.”
  • Without provocation, uses obscene and vulgar or profane language in the presence of or by telephone to a person under the age of 14 years which threatens an immediate breach of the peace.

Additionally, municipalities can have their own ordinances regarding disorderly conduct.

Disorderly conduct defenses

Disorderly conduct is based largely on someone’s perception of another person’s actions. Setting, time and circumstances all come into play as well. That’s why a loud, intoxicated group of college students using vulgar language might go unnoticed at 1:30 a.m. in an entertainment district, but would draw neighborhood and police scrutiny for the same behavior on a quiet residential street.

Sometimes, a disorderly conduct defense emphasizes the subjectivity of the allegations. While one witness may have felt threatened by the defendant’s actions, other witnesses may say the fear was unreasonable. When it comes to “fighting words,” there’s no clear list to go on, creating ambiguity that can be used as a defense. 

A misdemeanor defense attorney may also successfully argue that provocation justified the conduct or partially excused it. An attorney may claim that the defendant didn’t realize his or her behavior created a disturbance. A mental health diagnosis or substance abuse problem can also sometimes lead to the option to pursue treatment instead of jail.

As for other types of cases, poor police work can invalidate the charges entirely.

Our Client Success Commitments

It’s easy to be wrongfully accused of disorderly conduct. That’s why it’s so important to work with an attorney who understands the charges and is familiar with the jurisdiction you’re charged in. An experienced attorney may be able to have the case dismissed.

At Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm, we make the following client success commitments to everyone we work with:

  1. Your goals and future are our focus
  2. You will have a plan that focuses on your success
  3. You will understand the process
  4. You will be prepared for court
  5. You will have a team to support you

“These guys do an amazing job. They asked me what I wanted to get out of my case and I got something better than I imagined. If you have any issues, they are the ones to call. From the assistants all the way up, they will take care of you.” – E.W.

At Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm, we specialize in protecting your future by exploring options to minimize the impacts of your disorderly conduct charges. Please call our office today at 770-720-6336 to arrange an initial consultation.

If you aren’t ready to schedule your consultation, then click here to download our complimentary ebook 5 Things Not to Do When You’ve Been Charged with a Crime to learn what you need to know to start protecting your future immediately.

We are here to help

If you’re facing a criminal charge and are concerned about the impact on your life, contact us today and schedule a complimentary Defense Strategy Meeting.