Darien Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
If you’ve been arrested on disorderly conduct charges, a top defense attorney can help. A Darien disorderly conduct lawyer can help minimize the negative consequences and help you reach an optimum outcome.
What Types of Actions Are Considered Disorderly Conduct in Darien CT?
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-182 describes numerous ways an individual may commit disorderly conduct, including:
- Fighting or engaging in “violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior”
- Making an “unreasonable” noise
- Activity that blocks traffic
- Refusing to disperse when ordered to do so by police
- Interrupting an assembly or meeting
- Watching someone in a place where they have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” while trespassing
- Engaging in conduct that interferes with or annoys another person
Does Disorderly Conduct Require Intent?
One key element of the crime of disorderly conduct is the state of mind of the person engaging in the conduct. C.G.S. §53-182 specifies that in order to be guilty, an individual must act with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or in a manner that recklessly creates a risk thereof.
Intent may be hard to prove and a Darien disorderly conduct attorney could argue that the accused person acted by mistake and without the requisite intent or recklessness. Recklessness is generally thought of as an unreasonable disregard for the likely consequences of an action. A skilled Darien lawyer could argue that this level of intent was not met in your disorderly conduct case.
What are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct?
State law classifies disorderly conduct as a Class C misdemeanor. Under C.G.S. §53a-42, an individual convicted of a Class C misdemeanor is exposed to up to three months in jail, may be required to pay a fine of up to $500.00, and/or may be subject to up to one-year probation.
What Counts as a Disorderly Conduct Arrest?
In many situations, someone accused of committing a disorderly conduct offense in Darien will not be handcuffed, detained, and booked at a police station immediately after police officers confront them about their actions. Instead, the responding officer(s) may simply give them a ticket labeled “Misdemeanor Summons and Complaint” and let them leave the scene on their own, seemingly without any further action being taken.
However, it is crucial for people facing disorderly conduct allegations to understand that receiving this kind of paper citation is considered an “arrest” for a criminal offense. If you’ve been issued one of these misdemeanor summonses, you’ve been arrested. A person who receives a summons for disorderly conduct must attend a court hearing on the date and time noted on their ticket and go through arraignment for their charge(s), or they may have a bench warrant issued against them that would allow any police officer to detain them until a rescheduled hearing takes place.
Because of this, ignoring a summons for disorderly conduct is one of the worst things you can do after being accused of this particular offense. Failure to appear is a separate Connecticut crime in and of itself, and it can make obtaining a favorable outcome difficult. In this situation, the best move is almost always to contact a Darien attorney as soon as possible, so they can explain what the next steps in your case will be and—if hired—start working with you to build a strong defense against your disorderly conduct charge.
Resolving a First-Time Disorderly Conduct Offense
Because disorderly conduct is a relatively minor misdemeanor offense, first-time arrests rarely result in the defendant serving a jail sentence, especially if they seek representation from experienced and capable legal counsel immediately after being arrested. In fact, there are a few ways in which a skilled disorderly conduct lawyer in Darien could work to have a first-time offender’s charges nolled or dropped completely.
Sometimes, this is as straightforward as establishing that this arrest was a one-time occurrence that was out of character for someone with an otherwise clean criminal background, and that there is no chance of recidivism in the future. In other scenarios, participating in the family violence education program operated by the State of Connecticut or in separate anger management counseling may be enough to convince the court to let this first-time charge go. A legal professional could discuss what might be possible in a particular defendant’s case during an initial consultation.
Disorderly Conduct as a Domestic Violence Offense
One of the most lasting consequences that a domestic violence conviction—or even just an arrest in some cases—can have actually has nothing to do with jail time, fines, or any other sanction a criminal court might pass down. If someone is arrested in Darien for engaging in disorderly conduct against a family or household member, their offense may be classified as an act of domestic violence, opening them up to additional proceedings in family court that could have numerous repercussions for them and their entire family.
Almost any time a criminal charge that is considered to be domestic violence in Connecticut will expedite initial criminal proceedings substantially, to the degree that a defendant’s arraignment hearing may happen as soon as the next day following their arrest. Furthermore, the court may see fit to impose a protective order against the defendant based solely on their arrest, which would remain in effect—and make violations punishable with felony-level penalties—up until the defendant’s trial for their underlying criminal charge. Guidance from a seasoned defense attorney can be especially important in cases such as this. Click here to learn more about the intricacies of defending a domestic violence offense.
Consult a Darien Disorderly Conduct Attorney Today
Besides the official criminal penalties that may be imposed by a court, those convicted of disorderly conduct face a host of other consequences that come with a criminal conviction. In these days of easy online searches, the record of an arrest and conviction could haunt you for years to come.
Accordingly, it is a wise idea to consult a knowledgeable Darien disorderly conduct lawyer to learn how to protect your rights and defend against your charges. When you work with a dedicated criminal defense lawyer, your attorney can represent your interests from start to finish to help you reach a positive outcome. Follow this link to learn more from former clients about working with our firm. For a consultation to learn more, call today.