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 been accused of a disorderly conduct violation, contact a distinguished criminal lawyer to begin your case. A Stamford disorderly conduct lawyer could help you build a strong defense for your future.
What is the Definition of Disorderly Conduct?
According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-182, disorderly conduct is a broad offense that covers many different unlawful behaviors. As a result, you could face disorderly conduct charges for anything from fighting with a spouse or significant other to being disruptive at a public political event.
To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that you either intentionally committed the unlawful conduct to bother others or acted recklessly and created a risk of annoying or disturbing other people.
What are some Common Examples of Disorderly Conduct in Stamford?
Police officers have a great deal of discretion in determining whether conduct merits an arrest for disorderly conduct. Some common examples in Stamford include:
- Fighting or engaging in threatening behavior
- Annoying or interfering with another person
- Making unreasonable noise
- Disturbing any lawful assembly without lawful authority
- Obstructing pedestrian or vehicle traffic
- Committing simple trespass
- Congregating with other people in a public place and refusing to comply with a reasonable official request or order to disperse
All of these actions, as well as other conduct that falls under this broad definition, can result in a disorderly conduct arrest. These charges are also common in domestic violence situations. Since the consequences of a conviction can be severe, individuals facing charges may wish to contact a disorderly conduct lawyer in Stamford for advice.
What are some Defense Strategies?
There may be various defenses available to individuals who face prosecution for disorderly conduct. For example, if law enforcement officers arrested you during a peaceful and lawful protest, then those officers may have violated your First Amendment right to freedom of speech, assembly, or religion. If there was no violence, excessive noise, blocking of sidewalks or roads, or other behavior that annoyed others, law enforcement officers may not have a legal justification for arresting protest participants.
As a Stamford disorderly conduct attorney may recommend, another possible defense in a disorderly conduct case involves intent. The prosecution must prove that you intentionally caused or recklessly created a risk of annoyance or alarm to others. Proving your intent beyond a reasonable doubt may be difficult, and this element could be a weakness in the case against you.
What are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Stamford?
Disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor, which is the lowest misdemeanor one can be charged within Connecticut. The penalties for disorderly conduct charges include a permanent criminal record, a protective order put in place against the arrested person, jail time, probation, and/or court fines of up to $500.
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. A disorderly conduct criminal record could lead to long-term consequences, like making it difficult for one 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 for 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 for individuals to contact a Stamford disorderly conduct lawyer. If you are facing disorderly charges, reach out to an attorney who has experience handling disorderly conduct cases as soon as possible.
How a Stamford Disorderly Conduct Attorney Could Help
If you have questions about what is disorderly conduct in Stamford or how to defend against charges, contact an attorney today. A dedicated Stamford disorderly conduct lawyer could fight for you to ensure that your rights are being protected. Call today and let a top attorney help you avoid the serious disorderly conduct consequences.