Disorderly conduct is a charge that may involve a broad range of behaviors. Police officers may charge you with this crime when they are worried other charges won’t stick. While disorderly conduct is considered a petty misdemeanor in Rhode Island, the ramifications of the charge can be significant. Penalties for a conviction may include time at the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI) and hefty fines. In addition, you could have a record that follows you for many years. Proper legal representation is essential for ensuring the best possible outcome from your disorderly conduct case.
At Archambault Law, we take all charges against our clients seriously. While disorderly conduct may not seem as severe as other types of crimes in Rhode Island, repercussions can have a serious impact on your life. We understand the importance of qualified legal representation in these circumstances and will work with you to provide the best defense available.
There are different ways in which disorderly conduct might be committed in Rhode Island:
Engages in physical fighting or tumultuous or violent action
Makes unreasonable noise that disturbs another and does not stop when asked
Uses offensive words that could provoke a violent response
Obstructs public access to a location like a sidewalk, street or building entrance
Interferes with a lawful public gathering or meeting
Looks into a home or another private place without permission or for a sexual purpose
The subjective nature of many of these allegations means a disorderly conduct charge can be contested in many cases. However, proper legal representation is essential to ensure you get the best possible defense and don’t end up with an unnecessary charge on your record.
Even though disorderly conduct is classified as a petty misdemeanor most of the time, the consequences can be more severe than you might think. The maximum penalty for this charge is up to six months in ACI and fines of up to $500. The charge can stay on your record for up to five years, impacting your ability to obtain employment and other aspects of your life.
You may also be subject to additional penalties, particularly if the conduct involved a domestic dispute or indecent exposure. For example, charges that include indecent exposure, which involves exposure of genitals to another individual, penalties can increase to up to one year in ACI, fines of up to $1,000 and professional counseling. If your arrest is your second offense, the penalties can be increased as well.
If it can be shown your accuser overstated your actions in the heat of a moment, or if your actions did not truly constitute disorderly conduct under Rhode Island law, your case may be dismissed. However, this outcome is only likely if you have an experienced, committed attorney representing your interests. Attorney Stephen Archambault and his team understand the stress and anxiety that surround disorderly conduct charges and will give you the support and professional advice necessary to protect your rights and ensure the most positive outcome possible. For a free assessment of your case, contact Archambault Law today at 401-231-9700.