Stamford Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
Disorderly conduct charges are extremely common in Stamford. They are the most commonly charged crime in Connecticut because they encompass such a wide range of behavior and they can be construed liberally by Stamford police officers. Whether an action is considered disorderly is in the discretion of the police officer that is investigating the crime.
If the investigating police officer thinks that an action was intentionally annoying or threatening to another person, that person can be charged with disorderly conduct. If you have bee accused of creating a lot of noise in a public place, contact a distinguished Stamford criminal lawyer to begin your case. A Stamford disorderly conduct lawyer can help you build a strong defense for your future.
Defining Disorderly Conduct
A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when they intentionally annoy or alarm another person by engaging in fighting or any type of violent or threatening behavior, or any type of offensive conduct that annoys or interferes with another person. A person is also guilty of disorderly conduct when they make unreasonable noise.
Stamford disorderly conduct lawyers have seen arrests for disorderly conduct anytime someone’s engaged in a loud fight, even in their private home. Fighting in public also falls under the purview of disorderly conduct. Anytime a person interferes with another person, even if it doesn’t rise to the level of harassing, it is considered disorderly conduct.
Classifying Reckless Offenses
First-degree stalking can only be committed by someone who has a prior second-degree stalking conviction – a person can’t get charged with first-degree stalking unless they have done it before, or if the stalking violates a protective order. First-degree stalking is a Class B Felony.
Second-degree stalking offenses are when someone intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed to a specific person. If they repeatedly follow someone else or repeatedly lie and wait for them, it is considered second-degree stalking. Stalking has to be something that causes a reasonable person to fear for their own physical safety.
A third-degree stalking offense is when someone recklessly causes another person reasonable fear for their physical safety by repeatedly following or waiting for that person. Third-degree stalking is a Class B misdemeanor in Connecticut. It is punishable for up to six months in prison and a fine of $1,000 and then it progressively gets worse depending on the situation and subsequent offenses.
Disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor and the lowest misdemeanor in Connecticut. In Stamford, the penalties associated with disorderly conduct charges include a permanent criminal record (if a person is convicted of disorderly conduct), a protective order put in place against the person who is arrested, a jail sentence, probation, and/or court fines of up to $500.
Possible Defenses for Abusive or Offensive Language
One defense is that the person charged with disorderly conduct didn’t engage in the threatening or abusive language. Sometimes this can be proved by eyewitness testimony if someone else was involved in the fight or witnessed the fight. It is also a defense that a person was defending themselves or that the person was scared for their safety and used offense or abusive language to protect themselves.
A typical defense to disorderly conduct is that the noise was not unreasonable, depending on the time and place. This is something an attorney would point out to the court to make the court see the noise was more reasonable than the police officer deemed it.
What Role does Intent Play in a Disorderly Conduct Case?
In order to be guilty of simple trespass, a person must know that they are not entitled to be on the premises. Meaning, they do not need to have an intent to harm a person or property. The main defense would be that this person didn’t know that they were on private land so they can’t be guilty of disorderly conduct because they had no intent. The main defense for disorderly conduct is that the individuals actions were accidental. In order to prove disorderly conduct, a person needs to prove intent.
Impact of a Minor Misdemeanor
Although Stamford disorderly conduct charges are the lowest misdemeanor charge in Connecticut, they should be treated seriously because they are still prosecuted in court and can result in a permanent criminal record. This permanent criminal record can easily make it difficult for someone to gain employment.
Disorderly conduct charges can also result in a protective order. This protective order can stop someone from being able to return to their home or speak to their significant other for the pendency of their criminal case up to two years. Protective orders can also pose issues for defendants while traveling internationally. Violation of a protective order is a Felony charge, so it is important to contact a Stamford disorderly conduct lawyer. An attorney can argue against a protective order if there is a chance it will be violated.