Disorderly Conduct Penalties in Greenwich
Disorderly Conduct is one of Connecticut’s most frequently charged offenses, especially in the domestic violence context. It is crucial to understand disorderly conduct penalties in Greenwich to respond appropriately to this potentially damaging charge.
The Law Defines Disorderly Conduct Broadly
The law prohibiting Disorderly Conduct is a catch-all statute that criminalizes various behaviors. Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-182 defines Disorderly Conduct as:
- Fighting or engaging in violence;
- Engaging in disruptive conduct to annoy or interfere with another person;
- Making unreasonable noise;
- Breaking up or disturbing a lawful meeting;
- Obstructing a road or sidewalk;
- Congregating in a public place and refusing a police officer’s request to disperse; and/or
- Trespassing and observing someone in their home (peeping tom).
To meet the requirements of the law, a person must commit one of the above acts either recklessly or with the intent to create inconvenience and alarm.
Police often use a Disorderly Conduct charge to arrest someone they suspect commited a domestic violence offense. The police must make an arrest in any domestic situation in which the officers have probable cause to believe one of the disputants committed a crime. A loud verbal argument could be enough for a Disorderly Conduct arrest and resulting penalties in Greenwich.
Penalties Upon Conviction for Disorderly Conduct
Disorderly Conduct is a Class C misdemeanor. Under the Connecticut Penal Code, a person could face 90 days in jail upon conviction. They also might face $500 in fines, court costs, probation, and an order of restitution if their offense involved property damage.
A conviction for Disorderly Conduct results in a criminal record. The conviction will show up on background checks, limiting employment, education, housing, and credit opportunities and impacting a person’s eligibility for some professional licenses.
Disorderly Conduct as a Family Violence Charge
When a person faces a Disorderly Conduct charge resulting from a domestic violence call in Greenwich, the penalties are often more far-reaching. The accused will face arraignment the next business day and must have an interview with a Family Services Officer. The interview is often intense, and the interviewer will question the accused’s relationships with all the other household residents.
Based in part on the recommendation of the Family Services Officer, the court might issue a restraining order or protective order. These orders could prevent an accused from returning home or even contacting the alleged victim by telephone, text, email, or social media. These orders can sometimes keep an accused away from home and their family for weeks or months.
Resolving a Disorderly Conduct charge arising out of a family violence case often involves participating in a batterer’s intervention or the Family Violence Education Program. When they have completed the program requirements and satisfied any other court-imposed conditions, the court will dismiss the charges.
Let a Greenwich Attorney Help You Avoid Harsh Disorderly Conduct Penalties
Although relatively minor misbehavior could lead to a Disorderly Conduct charge, its consequences could follow you forever. Disorderly Conduct penalties in Greenwich can be far-reaching, especially when the charge follows an incident of suspected family violence.
Call the Law Offices of Mark Sherman for a confidential consultation with dedicated legal counsel, and click here to visit our Avvo profile with over 300 certified client reviews.