Phoenix Disorderly Conduct Lawyer

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When facing charges of disorderly conduct, you could experience legal consequences that affect you for the rest of your life. Disorderly conduct charges in Arizona can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction, depending on the incident’s circumstances. If you or someone you know faces disorderly conduct charges, a criminal defense lawyer in Arizona can help you understand your legal rights and options.

Definition of Disorderly Conduct

According to Arizona law, disorderly conduct occurs when someone knowingly commits actions meant to disturb the peace or quiet of an individual, household, or neighborhood.

Such actions may include:

  • Violent actions and fights
  • Unreasonably loud or disruptive noise
  • Offensive words or gestures meant to provoke a violent physical response
  • Ongoing noise or commotion intended to disrupt a lawful gathering or meeting
  • Refusal to disperse when lawfully ordered to do so
  • Reckless discharge or handling of a deadly weapon

While most disorderly conduct charges are misdemeanors, a charge involving a firearm or other dangerous weapon constitutes a felony. To protect your legal rights, consider speaking with a law firm familiar with Arizona disorderly conduct cases as soon as possible.

What to Do if You Face Disorderly Conduct Charges

Remember that you have legal rights when arrested or charged with disorderly conduct. When they arrest you, the officer must advise of your Miranda Rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Even before they read your Miranda Rights, anything you say can be used against you in criminal court. If the police ask you to make a statement before you have an attorney, you can politely and respectfully invoke your right to remain silent. Then, you can use your phone call to contact a criminal defense lawyer while in custody.

When you invoke your legal right to remain silent, the police must discontinue interviews and questioning until you have an attorney present. In addition, police cannot legally force or intimidate you into making a statement or confession. Finally, per Arizona law, they must release you from custody within 48 hours of the arrest if they do not formally press charges.

However, officers may still try to detain you past the 48-hour deadline or coerce you into saying something incriminating. An Arizona criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the process and defend your legal rights throughout the process.

Charges Related to Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct spans several different behaviors, ranging from public intoxication to domestic violence.

Common activities related to disorderly conduct charges include:

  • Pulling a fire alarm when there is no emergency
  • Hosting or attending a loud party
  • Shouting or screaming at other people
  • Waving or discharging a gun
  • Interrupting a funeral, parade, or another public event
  • Nude streaking
  • Loud or disruptive behavior while intoxicated

When authorities arrest you for disorderly conduct in Arizona, you may face additional charges for crimes associated with the incident.

Such charges may include:

If disorderly conduct occurs with other crimes, it can compound the charges and associated sentences. You can speak with a criminal defense lawyer’s team in Arizona to learn more about crimes associated with disorderly conduct.

Disorderly Conduct and Domestic Violence

Disorderly conduct charges and domestic violence often occur together. If you face charges for both disorderly conduct and domestic violence, you could face stiffer penalties than you would for disorderly conduct alone. Per Arizona law, domestic violence includes any dangerous acts committed against a current or prior household member, including a child, spouse, partner, former partner, or relative.

While additional charges for domestic violence carry their own penalties in the event of a conviction, the judge or jury in a case may also increase the disorderly conduct sentence. In addition, an additional domestic violence charge could increase the likelihood that you will face felony charges, especially if a firearm or other weapon was involved.

Protection Orders

To prevent a recurrence, a judge may submit an order of protection, a preliminary injunction, or an injunction against harassment. The injunction or order will outline specific parameters for contact between you and the alleged victim or victims. This may include limiting contact in person, online, or by phone. Such an order or injunction may also prevent you from coming within a certain distance of household members for a specific period. These limitations could prevent you from entering your home or conducting business as usual.

If you have trouble adhering to an order or injunction, you may want to immediately speak with a criminal defense lawyer’s team regarding your disorderly conduct or domestic violence charges. Disobeying a court order or injunction can severely compromise your case and result in additional consequences, including incarceration, fines, and felony charges.

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct

Per Arizona law, disorderly conduct constitutes a Class 1 misdemeanor unless it involves a firearm or deadly weapon. A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor classification. For a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction, you face up to six months in jail and a fine of $2,500. The sentence and fine could increase if you have a prior conviction, depending on the circumstances surrounding the current and previous charges.

Disorderly conduct charges involving a deadly weapon are a Class 6 felony, which can result in imprisonment. However, if you have prior felony convictions or the circumstances surrounding the case include domestic violence, violence against children, or other dangerous circumstances, you could face additional penalties. A disorderly conduct attorney can help you build a defense to seek dismissal or reduce the charges you face.

Other Consequences of a Disorderly Conduct Conviction

Suppose you engaged in activities classified as disorderly conduct. In that case, you risk facing misdemeanor and felony charges that can affect your ability to seek employment, housing, or financing in the future. A criminal record will appear on job applications, apartment applications, and even vehicle or mortgage financing applications.

A conviction for disorderly conduct can also cost you significantly in fines, jail time, and prison time. In addition, if convicted of a felony, you can lose your right to vote or bear arms. The judge or jury may also require you to complete community service or counseling.

A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help Defend You Against Disorderly Conduct Charges

To defend you in the courtroom against disorderly conduct charges, your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation of your case.

They may request:

  • Witness statements
  • Reports, recordings, videos, and photos related to the incident
  • Documentation from booking and investigative activities
  • Information about the processes and procedures used by the state when building their case

Using this information, your attorney will target the deficiencies in the prosecution’s case. An attorney can use any flaws in the police procedures, investigation, or reporting methods to build a defense strategy on your behalf.

To protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome, you may want to work with an attorney specializing in disorderly conduct cases like yours. A criminal defense attorney can wield their knowledge of standard procedures, legal processes, investigative techniques, and reporting requirements to disassemble the prosecution’s case.

Defenses Your Attorney May Use to Counter Disorderly Conduct Allegations

Choosing the right defense strategy can prove crucial to your disorderly conduct case.

A criminal defense lawyer may choose these strategies:

  • Alibi: Establish an alibi that proves you were elsewhere when the incident occurred
  • Wrong Person: Prove that the allegations resulted from misidentification or mistaken identity
  • Not Disorderly Conduct: Show that your actions do not match the definition of disorderly conduct
  • No Intent to Disturb: Establish that you did not knowingly or purposely commit actions to disturb the peace
  • Freedom of Speech: Show that you exercised your right to free speech and prove that you did not intend to provoke a violent response through your words
  • Witness Credibility: Use evidence to raise questions about the credibility of witnesses and their testimony
  • Biased Reporting: Show that police reports and witness statements are biased or untrue
  • Coerced Statements or Confession: Establish that police obtained incriminating statements or confessions through coercion, threats, or other illicit means
  • Entrapment: Prove that police used entrapment or other dishonest methods to create probable cause
  • Illegal Search and Seizure: Request evidence removal if authorities obtained it through illegal search and seizure or other illicit means
  • Self-Defense: Establish that your actions were to defend yourself or others proportionate to the threat

Each of the above defenses requires in-depth knowledge of laws and investigative techniques involved in disorderly conduct cases. A criminal justice attorney familiar with the laws and procedures can work to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Disorderly Conduct Case

Phoenix disorderly conduct lawyerWhile the ultimate goal of any defense is to have your disorderly conduct charges dismissed altogether, sometimes the facts of the case do not allow for dismissal. At that point, your attorney may attempt to reduce your charges or seek a plea bargain, in which you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lower penalty.

Reducing charges from a felony to a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct can make all the difference in your future endeavors. While a misdemeanor conviction will show on your record, it has far less effect on background checks for employment, housing, and financing than a felony. In addition, you retain your right to vote, and depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may also retain your Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Services a Criminal Defense Lawyer Provides

A criminal defense lawyer can understand the consequences of a conviction for disorderly conduct. They can tailor your defense to the facts of your case to seek the best possible resolution. While they cannot guarantee an outcome, your attorney can act in your best interests from the initial investigation through the final verdict.

When you hire an attorney to represent you during your disorderly conduct trial, they can represent you throughout the legal process, including:

  • Being present and advising you during interviews
  • Compiling evidence and examining every aspect of the case to build your defense
  • Representing you during the arraignment
  • Negotiating terms of release and bail value
  • Handling all legal correspondence and filings related to your case
  • Examining witnesses
  • Pursuing full dismissal of all charges
  • If dismissal is not possible, seeking a more advantageous plea agreement
  • Representing you in hearings and during trial proceedings

Your criminal defense attorney provides you legal support to defend yourself against serious allegations of disorderly conduct. The consequences of a conviction of disorderly conduct can last for the rest of your life. However, working with a criminal defense firm can make all the difference in building a strong defense.

You Can Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney’s Team to Learn More

If you face arrest for disorderly conduct in Arizona, you may benefit from the knowledge and experience of an established criminal defense firm. Disorderly conduct defense attorneys can aggressively advocate for the legal rights of defendants in various criminal cases.

A good attorney should know that every case has unique circumstances, so they should provide personalized representation. Criminal defense lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation into your case and help you understand your legal rights. Using their knowledge of local police procedures and Arizona criminal law, they can craft a defense tailored to your particular needs.

Additionally, a good lawyer wants to give you the best possible chance of charge dismissal or reduction. Committed trial attorneys may take on even the most complicated cases. They can take the state, prosecution, or the court itself to task for sloppy investigations, biased processes, and questionable procedures. You can contact a law firm for a free consultation and get started on your case.

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