disorderly conduct

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Disorderly Conduct

A broad term describing conduct that disturbs the peace or endangers the morals, health, or safety of a community.

Unlike the offense of breach of the peace, which originated under Common Law, disorderly conduct is strictly a statutory crime. It is commonly considered a broader term than breach of the peace and, under some statutes, breach of the peace is an element of disorderly conduct.

The elements of disorderly conduct vary from one jurisdiction to another. Most statutes specify the misconduct that constitutes the offense. Acts such as the use of vulgar and obscene language in a public place, Vagrancy, loitering, causing a crowd to gather in a public place, or annoying passengers on a mode of public transportation have been regarded as disorderly conduct by statute or ordinance. The offense is not committed unless the act complained of clearly falls within the statute.

In most jurisdictions, the decision of whether or not the act complained of is disorderly conduct is made by a judge. Following this determination, a jury decides whether or not the accused is guilty of the offense, provided there is a Question of Fact to be decided.The punishment for disorderly conduct is usually fixed by statute. Under most statutes the penalty consists of a fine, imprisonment, or both. Some statutes provide that an accused cannot be imprisoned for disorderly conduct unless he or she has been given an opportunity to pay a fine and has defaulted on the payment.


Disturbance of the Peace.

disorderly conduct

n. 1) actions that disturb others. 2) minor criminal offenses, such as public drunkenness, loitering, disturbing the peace, and loud threats or parties.

See: disorder, misconduct, misdoing

disorderly conduct

References in periodicals archive ?
Witherspoon and husband Jim Toth were arrested and jailed on Friday morning in Atlanta for an alleged disorderly conduct and DUI, after getting pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
She was arrested and faces a charge of disorderly conduct, which carries a six-month jail and a fine of up to $2,500 ([pounds sterling]1,600).
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Kelsey Donkin, 22, of Clinton Place, Sunderland, has been charged with disorderly conduct.
Police officers yesterday (16 May) arrested a teenager and charged him with disorderly conduct at Buffalo Niagara International Airport after he shouted "It's time to die" while ripping off and reaching into his backpack.
Khan was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct, and after about an hour they let him go, he says.
Detainees who had been arrested for disorderly conduct brought a [section] 1983 action alleging a substantive due process violation as the result of overlong detention.
A police spokesman said: 'Shortly after their arrival, police arrested one man on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and two others on suspicion of disorderly conduct under the Public Order Act.
They suspended the straight 18-year-old senior and ticketed him $249 for disorderly conduct after he was allegedly seen dancing in a sexually provocative manner at the May 7 event.
Granted, kids have been thrown out because of disorderly conduct.
Former world heavyweight champ Tyson, 36, was charged with assault and disorderly conduct, cops said.
The former heavyweight champion could now face a return to jail after being charged with assault and disorderly conduct.
The former heavyweight champion was charged with assault and disorderly conduct following the fight, which happened in the early hours of the morning.