Disorderly conduct cases are quite common in the Maryland criminal courts. But the frequency in which they are seen doesn’t make them any less serious. As a matter of fact, they are particularly serious to those people who have never faced criminal charges before, as they stand to gain a permanent blemish on their criminal record.
The difficult thing about Maryland disorderly conduct laws is understanding just how widely they can be interpreted and in how many different situations they can be applied. Because the law can be so broadly applied, the police often use a disorderly conduct charge in questionable cases.
Maryland disorderly conduct laws state that any of the following actions can be constituted as a law violation:
- Being unreasonably loud or disturbing the peace
- Disobeying an order of the police when that order is made to keep the peace
- Acting in a disorderly manner that disturbs the peace
- Blocking the traffic of people going in or out of a public place
You can see how each of these specific actions could be applied to a wide variety of behaviors. Being unreasonably loud, for example, could refer to a party, your vehicle, or you having a good time outside with friends. If it “disturbs the peace” of another, you could be cuffed and arrested for disorderly conduct.
This is one of those criminal charges that can be levied when people weren’t even aware that they were breaking the law.
Maryland Disorderly Conduct Charge – Penalties
A disorderly conduct charge is a misdemeanor. Generally, the charge carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and fines reaching $500. However, if you block entrance to a hospital, the sentence is increased to 90 days and a $1,000 fine.
Fortunately, not all disorderly conduct cases result in the maximum allowable sentence. As a matter of fact—few of them do. In many cases a defense attorney can work with the prosecution to get the charges reduced or to work out an agreement saving you from any jail time.
If you are charged with disorderly conduct in Maryland, contact us to speak with a local criminal defense attorney. The initial consultation is always free.