Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor. It is defined by Massachusetts General Law c 272 s 53. It applies to many situations. Therefore even harmless behavior could result in an arrest. Examples include the use of offensive language, “catcalling” members of the opposite sex, indecent exposure, and loitering.
Disorderly Conduct Law
To be found guilty the Commonwealth has to prove that:
1. Either engaged in fighting or threatening behavior; or engaged in violent or tumultuous behavior, or created a hazardous or physically offensive condition by an act that served no legitimate purpose of the defendant’s;
2. Secondly, your actions were reasonably likely to affect the public;
3. Lastly, you either intentionally or recklessly created a public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm.
Generally, for this charge to stand based on offensive words, the words must be “fighting words.” In other words, fighting words tend to incite violent behavior.
The use of language alone is not disorderly conduct. Also, the actions have to occur in public. Therefore, you cannot be guilty in your own home. However, there are exceptions. An example is in the case of a house party that has spilled out onto the street.
Disorderly Conduct FAQs
The penalty is punishable by up to 6 months of jail time or a fine of up to $200.00. Also, this is a misdemeanor crime.
In Massachusetts, there are legal defenses to the charge of disorderly conduct. A criminal attorney can help you with the defense that will lead to the best outcome. Possible defenses to disorderly conduct include a first amendment defense. The first amendment protects your freedom of speech. This defense applies in cases based on language.
Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer
Patrick Donovan is a criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts. He fights to be the best criminal attorney. Also, Attorney Donovan is a former assistant district attorney. Attorney Donovan uses his experience to help his clients Lastly, if you or someone you know has been charged with any type of crime call today.
Attorney Donovan has appeared in over courts in Massachusetts including Boston Federal Court, Suffolk Superior Court, District Court.