In Rhode Island, disorderly conduct charges are levied quite frequently. Part of the reason is that the law itself is written in such a broad manner that many different behaviors could fall underneath it. We often see this offense being thrown at people who didn’t even realize their actions constituted a crime.
Sure, disorderly conduct may not be as “serious” as some other criminal charges, but it does have quite serious potential repercussions. If you are convicted of this offense, you could go to jail and you could be left with a permanent criminal record. Both of these are definitely penalties that I would consider sobering and potentially life changing.
Rhode Island Disorderly Conduct Laws
In order to be charged and convicted of disorderly conduct, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you intionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Obstructed, disturbed, or interfered with normal activities,
- Engaged in fighting or other threatening behavior, or
- Engaged in other forms of lascivious or offensive behaviors.
Pretty vague, huh?
It’s easy to see how someone could be charged with disorderly conduct for doing little more than being too loud or a little annoying. And it’s completely understandable why we see this charge used in groups, like at parties, following sporting events, or public gatherings.
RI Disorderly Conduct Penalties
Under Rhode Island law, disorderly conduct is classified as a misdemeanor and carries a potential 6 months in jail and $500 in fines. Typically, if this is your first offense, you will not have to serve jail time, though the possibility exists. But even if you don’t go to jail, a conviction carries a criminal record.
Maybe you got a little out of control at a party or you didn’t listen when the police told you to leave a certain area. All cases are different and what led to your charges makes a big difference in the outcome of your case. Talking to a local Rhode Island disorderly conduct lawyer can help you put things in perspective.
Regardless of the charge, it’s difficult to be accused of a crime. It can be embarrassing and isolating. Having a legal professional on your side can help. We maintain a network of defense attorneys from across the country. Let us put you in contact with a Rhode Island defense lawyer today.