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    Bridgeport Disorderly Conduct Lawyer

    On the surface, disorderly conduct can seem like a fairly low stakes crimes to be accused of. When you look deeper though, you’ll see that a disorderly conduct arrest can expose you to protective orders, involvement with the Department of Children and Families, and if convicted, jail time. No matter what circumstances led to you being charged or what kind of criminal history you have, assistance from a knowledgeable Bridgeport Disorderly Conduct lawyer may be vital to protecting your short-term and long-term best interests during this sort of criminal case.

    Disorderly Conduct as a Criminal Offense

    According to subsection (a)(2) of Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-182, someone can technically commit the crime of Disorderly Conduct in Bridgeport by annoying or interfering with another person through “offensive or disorderly conduct.” In practice, this means law enforcement officers have a lot of leeway to decide on their own what does and does not count as Disorderly Conduct, which is one of many things that can make contesting this sort of charge uniquely challenging.

    That said, the statute also lists several specific behaviors that qualify as criminal Disorderly Conduct:

    • Getting into a physical fight with someone else or otherwise engaging in “violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior” in public;
    • Making an unreasonable amount of noise;
    • Unlawfully disturbing a lawful assembly;
    • Unlawfully blocking motor vehicle and/or pedestrian traffic;
    • Refusing to disperse from a public assembly after being lawfully ordered to do so by law enforcement or another public official; and/or
    • Being a “peeping tom”—in other words, trespassing on private property and, without the person’s knowledge or permission, purposefully observing someone who is inside a dwelling and has a “reasonable expectation of privacy.”

    All forms of Disorderly Conduct mentioned above are considered Class C misdemeanors, which means a convicted individual could face maximum penalties of three months in jail and $500 in fines. It is worth emphasizing, though, that these are maximum penalties rather than recommended ones, and a Bridgeport Disorderly Conduct attorney may be able to successfully argue for a court to reduce the sanctions imposed against a convicted defendant or even impose alternative sanctions altogether—for example, mandatory anger management counseling and probation.

    Disorderly Conduct as a Form of “Family Violence”

    One other thing worth mentioning about Disorderly Conduct in Connecticut is that it is an offense commonly classified as “family violence” if the defendant allegedly targeted a “household or family member” of theirs with their actions. While this categorization does not enhance the criminal sanctions associated with the charge, it complicates other aspects of the case and it speeds up the early stages of the criminal court process substantially. For instance, rather than waiting days or even weeks for arraignment, people arrested on suspicion of Domestic Violence Disorderly Conduct are typically required to appear in court on the very next business morning.

    Additionally, courts have the authority to impose protective orders against individuals accused of family violence offenses even before they are convicted of anything, which can significantly limit their personal freedom and even their ability to interact with their family for the duration of their case. Support from a Disorderly Conduct lawyer in Bridgeport can be especially important in situations like this to making sure a defendant’s rights are respected and best interests protected.

    Finally, if you were arrested for disorderly conduct and your children are alleged to have witnessed the incident, you may get a call from the Department of Children and Families. This administrative division of the State investigates alleged child abuse or neglect. A Bridgeport defense attorney, like the ones at Mark Sherman Law, can help with all aspects of a disorderly conduct arrest, including DCF involvement.

    Get Help From a Bridgeport Disorderly Conduct Attorney

    Even one misdemeanor conviction can have significant effects on your personal and professional prospects moving forward, especially if it is also considered to be “family violence” and treated as such in criminal and family court. Fortunately, you have help available from a seasoned Bridgeport Disorderly Conduct lawyer with a long track record of helping people much like you get through situations much like yours. Call Mark Sherman Law today to schedule a private consultation and click here to view what our previous clients have said about working with our team.