If you've been arrested and/or charged with Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island, it is important that you take the offense seriously because it can have severe consequences. Even though Disorderly Conduct sounds like it may be a minor offense, it can have tough consequences. You face the possibility of receiving a criminal record, potential jail time, probation and possible fines and fees. This is why it is important to have an experienced Rhode Island criminal defense attorney to help represent you on the charges of Disorderly Conduct. Attorney David Ellison has helped countless clients throughout his career who have faced charges of Disorderly Conduct.
What are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island?
- potential misdemeanor criminal conviction
- up to 6 months in jail
- up to $500 fine
- possible community service
What are Some of the Laws for Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island?
Disorderly Conduct comes from Rhode Island General Laws § 11-45-1 "Disorderly Conduct." That law states the following:
(a) A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;
(2) In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbs another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities;
(3) Directs at another person in a public place offensive words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction on the part of the average person so addressed;
(4) Alone or with others, obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place ordinarily used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances;
(5) Engages in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering;
(6) Enters upon the property of another and for a lascivious purpose looks into an occupied dwelling or other building on the property through a window or other opening; or
(7) Who without the knowledge or consent of the individual, looks for a lascivious purpose through a window, or any other opening into an area in which another would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a restroom, locker room, shower, changing room, dressing room, bedroom, or any other such private area, not withstanding any property rights the individual may have in the location in which the private area is located.
(8) [Deleted by P.L. 2008, ch. 183, § 1].
(b) Any person, including a police officer, may be a complainant for the purposes of instituting action for any violation of this section.
(c) Any person found guilty of the crime of disorderly conduct shall be imprisoned for a term of not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.
(d) In no event shall subdivisions (a)(2) – (5) of this section be construed to prevent lawful picketing or lawful demonstrations including, but not limited to, those relating to a labor dispute.
What is Some Relevant Case Law on Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island?
Disorderly conduct statute was not void for vagueness and did not prohibit arrest and prosecution where defendant's alleged disorderly conduct occurred inside his home; the statute put him on notice that he violated that statute if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly engaged in fighting, threatening, violent, or tumultuous behavior without regard to the location where that happened, and, thus, defendant could appreciate that throwing furniture around his residence during a violent argument with his wife, in which he threatened to destroy the home if he did not get his way, was prohibited conduct. State v. Russell, 890 A.2d 453 (R.I. 2006).
State did not have to prove that defendant's behavior occurred in a public place or disturbed another member of the public to prove disorderly conduct under R.I. Gen. Laws Section 11-45-1(a)(1). State v. Hesford, 900 A.2d 1194 (R.I. 2006).
If you or a loved one are charged with Disorderly Conduct, you do not need to fight the charges alone. Do not hesitate to contact Rhode Island Disorderly Conduct Lawyer David Ellison today at 401-230-5520.