New Haven Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
Sometimes disorderly conduct is charged in New Haven as a “catch all” offense because the statute is written so vaguely that virtually any conduct can be termed a violation. However, the charge is not warranted in all situations where it has been issued.
For instance, if a fight breaks out, police may charge everyone in the vicinity with disorderly conduct even if they were not involved. Or if a verbal disagreement draws complaints from neighbors, police may issue disorderly conduct charges just to quiet things down.
When facing disorderly conduct charges, it is a good idea to talk to a New Haven disorderly conduct lawyer to make sure you understand the charges and the implications. A qualified criminal defense attorney could also explain your options for defense.
Consequences of a Disorderly Conduct Charge
Many people believe it is not necessary to seek help from an attorney with a disorderly conduct charge because the offense is a misdemeanor rather than a felony. However, a conviction for disorderly conduct or any other criminal offense can result in a number of unwanted consequences that can cause difficulties for years to come. Thankfully, a New Haven disorderly conduct lawyer has the skills needed to minimize the damage.
Because computerized criminal records are so easily viewable, convictions and criminal charges are quite visible to anyone, and they can make it difficult to find a job, get a loan, obtain preferred housing, or even get a date. These complications are in addition to any criminal fines or incarceration that may apply.
Disorderly conduct is considered a class C misdemeanor in Connecticut with criminal penalties that include up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§53a-36 and 53a-42.)
Statutes That Outline This Behavior in New Haven
Connecticut law describes seven different types of conduct that will be considered criminal disorderly conduct. Set forth in Section 53a-182 of the state criminal code, the actions must be undertaken either with an “intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm,” or the acts must be committed “recklessly” in a manner likely to alarm, annoy or cause inconvenience to others.
The types of conduct that can be considered disorderly conduct when committed with that state of mind include:
- Making “unreasonable” noise
- Annoying or interfering with another by conduct that is “offensive or disorderly”
- Engaging in tumultuous, violent or threatening behavior
- Obstructing traffic on roads or walkways
- Interrupting a meeting or assembly without proper authority
- Watching another person in their home in a situation where that person would have a “reasonable expectation of privacy”
- Congregating with other people in a public space and refusing to disperse when ordered to do so by authorities
It is not difficult to understand why police in New Haven have a wide range of discretion in filing disorderly conduct charges, because the above descriptions apply to many situations that occur regularly, particularly in urban areas. But just because the charges may apply does not mean that the individual charged should be found guilty of a crime.
Calling a New Haven Disorderly Conduct Attorney
Anyone facing disorderly conduct charges should at least speak with an attorney who is experienced in handling disorderly conduct cases to learn how quality legal representation can help.
When you work with a New Haven disorderly conduct lawyer, your attorney can serve as your advocate at all stages of the proceedings, devise the right defensive strategy for your situation, help you reach the best possible disposition of your case and guide you through the process of taking action to remove unwanted information from the public record. The consultation is free, so call now to find out how they can help you today.