Disorderly conduct [Texas Penal Code, Title 9, Chapter 42] charges in Texas are a kind of ‘catch-all’ charge that covers a lot of different situations, all primarily related to some act that would be considered ‘disturbing the peace’. In this blog post we will discuss the nature of disorderly conduct charges as well as their potential penalties.
Some examples of actions that would be considered disorderly conduct would be using vulgar or profane language in public, offensive gestures, making an unreasonable amount of noise, as well as more serious actions such as displaying a firearm in public. In attempting to prove a disorderly conduct charge, a prosecutor must prove that the act in question was done both intentionally and knowingly. Thus, the person must have done the action on purpose and with understanding that the action would be perceived as disturbing.
It should also be noted that funeral picketing, rioting, obstructing roads, as well as disrupting meetings are considered disorderly conduct. For example, displaying signs, posters, or blocking access within 1000 feet for a funeral service or within three hours of the start or finish of a funeral service can be charged as disorderly conduct. Blocking streets, sidewalks, or entrance and exits to public buildings are disorderly conduct as well. As well, probably most well known for disorderly conduct charges, public intoxication can be charged as such.
Consequences for Disturbing the Peace Charges
Penalties for disorderly conduct can vary greatly depending on the severity of the disturbance. Most disorderly conduct charges are Class C Misdemeanors that are punishable by a fine of up to $500. However, more serious disturbing the peace charges may be charged as Class B Misdemeanors, such as discharging a firearm in public. These offenses can eb punishable by up to 180 days in jail or up to $2000 fine (or both.) In the case of disorderly conduct the penalty is up to the decision of the judge (and sometimes with the prosecutor’s recommendation.) Even though most disorderly conduct charges are as misdemeanors, they are still serious offenses that can have long-lasting consequences and should also be fought by an experienced attorney.
Disorderly Conduct Attorney
If you or a loved one is charged with disorderly conduct it is important to hire a defense attorney with experience who can help you fight your case. Carl Haggard has over three decades helping the people of Houston and offers a Free Confidential Consultation about your case. After talking with Carl he will go to work fighting for you!