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Defining Disorderly Conduct in Illinois

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disorderly conduct, Will County criminal defense attorneyNot all crimes that have serious consequences extending into multiple facets of a person's life need to be those of a violent or nefarious nature. In fact, seeming minor misdemeanor charges such as those for disorderly conduct and the like can have similar consequences, even if less far-reaching, that last for the rest of a person's life.

What Is Disorderly Conduct?

Defining disorderly conduct, however, can be tricky, as there are several factors that count toward such a charge, and many of them can be alarmingly subjective to pinpoint. Generally speaking, a disorderly conduct charge can be filed if a person is acting in a so-called "unreasonable manner," with the intention of disturbing another person or attempting to provoke a “breach of the peace.”

Common Examples

A person may also be charged with disorderly conduct if he or she cries wolf—that is, invokes the action of emergency response workers, such as firemen or police officers, without due cause. The stipulation of this, of course, is that the person knew that there was no reason for engaging with emergency response workers at the time of the call—if a person honestly believed that there was a fire, for example, or other emergency, he would not be charged with disorderly conduct. In some cases, proving that the person did have good reason to believe in the necessity of an emergency call would need to be done in court.

In the same vein, leading others to believe that there is cause for alarm or emergency evacuation, for example, is also considered reason for a disorderly conduct charge. That is, a person is not legally allowed to call “fire” in a movie theatre, or to falsely alarm others that a person has a bomb or a radioactive substance. This is particularly problematic when it comes to school property—if a person falsely alarms students and faculty to the presence of a bomb—or simply threatens that there will be violence, death, or bodily harm directed toward people at a school, he or she can be subject to a charge of disorderly conduct.

Protect Yourself and Your Rights

Again, however, charges of disorderly conduct are often so seemingly subjective that it can be possible to be charged for action that you did not even know was considered breaking the law. As such, if you are charged with disorderly conduct, it is imperative to seek legal counsel right away. A conviction can lead to be up to 30 days in jail, up to $1,500 in fines, and the mark of a Class C misdemeanor on your permanent record. Do not go through it alone. Contact our Will County criminal defense attorneys right away for information about free consultations.


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