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Disorderly Conduct Charges in Illinois

 Posted on April 03, 2017 in Criminal Defense

Chicago criminal defense attorneySome crimes—such as armed robbery, aggravated assault, or the possession of heroin—are clear to most people and carry criminal penalties that may be life-changing. Other offenses, may be less obvious but could still be extremely serious. In fact, seemingly minor misdemeanor charges such as those for disorderly conduct and the like can have consequences that affect the offender’s life for well into the future.

Disorderly Conduct Defined

Defining disorderly conduct, however, can be tricky, as there are several factors that may affect such a charge, and some of them can be rather subjective. Generally, a disorderly conduct charge can be filed if a person is acting in an unreasonable manner with the intention of disturbing or attempting to provoke a “breach of peace.”

False Reports

A person may also be charged with disorderly conduct if he or she cries wolf—to borrow a phrase from a children’s story. Calling 911 and invoking the action of emergency response workers, such as firemen or police officers, without due cause may be considered disorderly conduct. The stipulation of this, of course, is that the individual knew that there was no reason for engaging with emergency response workers at the time of the call. If the person honestly believed that there was a fire or other emergency, he or she would not be charged with disorderly conduct. In some cases, a defendant may need to prove in court that he or she had a good reason to believe that making the emergency call was necessary.

Inciting False Alarm

In the same vein, leading others to believe that there is cause for alarm or emergency evacuation, for example, could also lead to a disorderly conduct charge. This covers the proverbial “yelling ‘fire’ in a movie theater” example as well as falsely alarming others that someone has a bomb or any other radioactive substance.

Such actions are particularly dangerous when it comes to school property. For example, if a person falsely alarms students and faculty to the presence of a bomb or simply threatens that there will be violence, death, or bodily harm inflicted on people at a school, he or she can be subject to a charge of disorderly conduct.

Seek Legal Help

The elements of a disorderly conduct charge, as stated above, can be very subjective, making it possible to be charged for action that you did not even know was illegal. With that in mind, if you are charged with disorderly conduct, it is imperative to seek legal counsel right away. Punishment can be up to 30 days in jail, up to $1,500 in fines, and the mark of a Class C misdemeanor on your permanent record. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney for assistance with your case today.




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