Disorderly conduct is a common charge in Frisco, Texas, especially for students and underage individuals. If you were arrested for disorderly conduct, you probably have questions about what your next steps should be. Before anything else, you should reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney. They will be able to answer your questions and guide you through the legal process.
What is Disorderly Conduct in Frisco?
Disorderly conduct acts as a catch-all charge and includes a wide range of actions. It can be broadly defined as engaging in any activity that disturbs the peace. Section 42.01 of the Texas Penal Code lists several acts that fall under disorderly conduct.
- Using abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place that is likely to provoke a physical altercation (e.g., curse words and racial slurs)
- Making an offensive gesture in a public place
- Creating, by chemical means, a noxious and unreasonable odor in a public place
- Abusing or threatening to abuse another person in a public place
- Making unreasonable noise in or near a private residence you have no right to occupy. Noise is unreasonable if the level exceeds 85 decibels after being warned by a law enforcement officer to turn down the noise
- Fighting with other people in a public place
- Spying on someone in their house, hotel room, or public restroom
- Exposing your genitals or anus in a reckless manner and without concern as to who may observe the exposure
- Discharging a firearm in a public place
- Displaying a firearm in a public place that is intended to alarm others
- Discharging a firearm across a public road
Disorderly conduct is different than other misdemeanor charges because you can be arrested even if the police officer did not see you commit the act.
What are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Frisco?
Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor crime in Frisco, Texas. However, it still must be taken seriously because a conviction could result in jail time, fines, community service, and a criminal record.
Disorderly conduct charges that are not related to firearms are typically penalized as a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $500 fine. Firearm-related disorderly conduct offenses are typically categorized as a Class B misdemeanor, penalized by a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2000.
In some cases, the prosecutor may offer you deferred disposition. Deferred disposition gives you the option to put off the final disposition of the case while you are put on probation and meet a certain set of required conditions. If you successfully complete the conditions, the judge will dismiss your case. However, if you fail to complete the requirements, you will be sentenced and have a conviction on your record.
Additionally, disorderly conduct sometimes comes with related charges, such as public intoxication, assault, or resisting arrest. These offenses can carry more severe penalties.
What are Defenses to Disorderly Conduct in Frisco?
If you were arrested for disorderly conduct, it does not need to end in a conviction. There are several ways that you can fight disorderly conduct charges in Frisco, and you should always consult with an attorney before pleading guilty.
Your case’s defense will depend on your unique situation and the type of disorderly conduct you are charged with. Some potential defenses are listed below.
- You did not have intent. You can argue that what happened was an accident or beyond your control. For example, you were not aware that anyone could see you if you exposed yourself, or you were waiting on your child at a hotel and mistakenly looked into a room you believed was yours.
- You were provoked. It is a defense if you were significantly provoked before you threatened or abused another person.
- You acted in self-defense. You will not be convicted if you acted to protect yourself or another person from serious harm when you got into a fight, fired a gun, or displayed a gun.
- You were falsely accused. The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. Your attorney can dispute the evidence or argue that it is lacking.
When defending your case, the most important thing is to have an aggressive and experienced attorney on your side.
Your Frisco Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing disorderly conduct charges, you should reach out to an experienced Frisco criminal defense attorney. Philip D. Ray is a knowledgeable Frisco attorney who will make sure that your rights are protected. Call Philip D. Ray today to schedule a consultation at (214) 845-7987.