Disorderly conduct charges, also sometimes referred to as disturbing the peace, are charges that require the assistance of an experienced Arizona criminal attorney to mount a successful defense. Time is of the essence when charged with disorderly conduct, and you should contact our law firm as soon as possible to discuss the particulars of your case at your free consultation.
What constitutes disorderly conduct in Tempe, Arizona?
Disorderly conduct in Tempe, Arizona, is a charge that can be erroneously used when the police are having difficulty determining charges to file. Since the charge is considered overly-applied in Tempe, it can often present you with more options to properly defend your case, if your attorney is made fully aware of all the facts. In short, disorderly conduct in Tempe is deemed to be behavior that has been determined disruptive by the arresting officer. While the charge can be levied for a number of acts, it is most often associated with:
- Fights or generally combative behavior
- Excessive or unreasonable amounts of noise
- Loud, lewd, or offensive language waged against a person with the intention of provoking them to act
- Refusing to leave a business or public location
- Recklessly handling or brandishing a weapon
- Intentional provocation or intimidation causing fear
Possible penalties for disorderly conduct charges in Tempe
Your disorderly conduct charge will most likely fall into the category of a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is the highest class of misdemeanor and ranks just below felony charges. Even though the charges may seem minor offenses, their classification can result in severe penalties including up to $2,500 in fines and six months incarceration. When determining sentencing for disorderly conduct charges, those that include more aggravating factors will tend to garner the higher end of the punishment.
If the charges include weapons classified as dangerous, such as a firearm, the charges can be upgraded to a lower class 6 felony. Once upgraded to a felony, the punishment can increase to a year in prison as well as a felony charge remaining on your record, resulting in possible employment and housing problems in the future. Minor disorderly conduct charges may result in no jail time but still result in probation, community service, counseling, fines, and fees.
Common disorderly conduct defenses
There are many defense strategies that can be used when disorderly charges are filed. Some of the most commonly used defenses include:
- The act was an attempt to protect a party that was incapable or unable to effectively protect themselves.
- It occurred a group setting where the wrong person was charged.
- There was a lack of witnesses or evidence of the crime.
- You were provoked or intimidated.
- The charges were not warranted and the arrest was made erroneously.
- The evidence contradicts the charges.
- You were simply exercising the right to free speech.
- Mental or physical impairment was responsible for your behavior.
- You were acting in defense of yourself, home, or family.
- The altercation was instigated by another party.
- Your actions were not delivered with the intent to disturb the peace.
Contact attorney Matt Lopez for your disorderly conduct case
During your consultation, the particulars of your case will be discussed to see if it was justified and what avenues of defense may work to provide you with the best outcome. By retaining an attorney immediately after you have been charged they will better be able to gather the facts from witnesses and the presented evidence to determine weaknesses in the prosecution’s case so that they can increase your chances of having the charges dismissed, reduced, or beating the charges altogether. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation.