Colorado disorderly conduct laws are a kind of a catch-all offense. Because it is so broadly defined, it can be applied to many different situations that don’t necessarily fit other criminal offenses. It’s a commonly used charge and one that we often see applied in situations where it simply isn’t warranted.
Disorderly conduct is open to interpretation by the officers enforcing the law. They use discretion in determining if your actions are disorderly according to the law and then, if they will execute an arrest based on those actions. Sometimes, people are charged with this crime for doing nothing more than being a thorn in the police’s side.
Colorado Disorderly Conduct Laws
Colorado disorderly conduct laws are classified according to seriousness in three categories:
Class 2 Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct
The most serious Colorado disorderly conduct charge is classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor. This means it can result in 3 months to 1 year in jail and fines from $250 to $1,000. This could be the applicable charge if you are accused of:
- Unlawfully discharging a firearm, or
- Displaying a deadly weapon or another item representing a deadly weapon or if you say you have a weapon in a public place with the intention of causing alarm.
Class 3 Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct
Disorderly conduct, when classified as a Class 3 misdemeanor, can carry up to 6 months in jail and a $50 fine. This is the applicable charge if you are accused of fighting in public. Sometimes we see a lesser assault offense pled down to this charge, particularly when the fight was one of “mutual consent”.
Class 1 Petty Offense Disorderly Conduct
The most frequently charged disorderly conduct is one that’s classified as a Class 1 petty offense. This is usually punished with only a fine, but can result in up to 6 months in jail. You could be facing this charge if you are accused of:
- Making coarse or offensive gestures, utterances, or displays in a public place, causing a breach of the public peace, or
- Making unreasonable noise in public or near a private residence that you have no right to occupy.
No criminal charge should be taken lightly. This is particularly true when there is a possibility that you will serve jail time and get a permanent criminal record if convicted.
If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, let us put you in touch with a local defense lawyer today.