Disorderly conduct is a specific violation that can be found under the Virginia Code, Section 18.2-415. It is when someone intentionally and recklessly causes a public inconvenience, noise, or harm by engaging in conduct that is likely to cause violence by the person or persons at whom the conduct is directed. It can also be applied in less common circumstances in which someone willfully or recklessly disrupts certain kinds of proceedings, including funerals, government meetings, sporting events, and religious services. Generally, disorderly conduct is causing a disturbance in an intentional or reckless manner, resulting in public inconvenience, annoyance, or harm that is likely to trigger a violent response.
Read below to learn more about the different types of disorderly conduct charges in Loudoun County. And if you have been charged, consult with a skilled disorderly conduct lawyer today.
Virginia Code allows for specific violations for acts such as defecating in public or similar behavior. Generally, defecating or urinating in public charges are charged under the indecent exposure statute, depending on what is viewed and where it is viewed. If the action is in public and directed at a specific person, for example, someone defecates on their neighbor’s yard while looking at them and the neighbor gets angry, that could be disorderly conduct. Only urinating or defecating in public is not likely to endanger or steer a disorderly conduct charge simply by its nature.
An individual acting in a manner in which they have a direct tendency to cause an act of violence by the person or persons to whom it is directed is the most common way people get charged with disorderly conduct. If someone has not quite assaulted someone, but they are acting in a way that is annoying everyone and can cause people to want to assault them, then it could be considered disorderly conduct.
A disorderly conduct charge is quite uncommon in Loudoun County because officers try to find a more narrow statute under which to charge the individual. It is more common that those individuals are charged with simple public intoxication, which is a Class 4 misdemeanor rather than a Class 1 misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. This is because it is an easier charge to prove than disorderly conduct.
There are factual and legal defenses that are possible for disorderly conduct charges. Some of the common factual defenses are that their behavior really was not that extraordinary, that it was viewed out of context, or they were provoked or were responding to someone else’s extraordinary conduct. Some of the common legal defenses are that they did not engage in disorderly conduct and that they engaged in something else and they were improperly charged.
A person could claim self-defense or that their actions were reasonable and were taken out of context as a defense strategy to disorderly conduct charges. There are several defenses, legal and factual, that are available, but all are very case-specific. Therefore, it is crucial for a defendant to speak to an accomplished lawyer who is knowledgeable about the different types of disorderly conduct charges in Loudoun County and what defense strategies could be successful.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law