Being charged with disorderly conduct in the state of Ohio may seem like a fairly benign issue, however, collateral consequences of such charges can cause significant problems for you and for your future. In the state of Ohio, disorderly conduct could be charged for something as relatively harmless as making excessive noise, taunting someone, or even hindering others from moving on a public street. The law is very broad, and the prosecutor has the discretion to determine the level of charges.
Straight disorderly conduct is a minor misdemeanor, while persistent or aggravated disorderly conduct can be charged as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. A conviction means you have a criminal record, even though it is a misdemeanor charge. It can be embarrassing and anxiety-inducing to face disorderly conduct charges. Having an experienced Centerville disorderly conduct attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz can make a huge difference in the outcome of your charges. Our knowledgeable attorneys will help you get through these charges with the very best results and the least amount of damage to your future.
Why Choose a Centerville Disorderly Conduct Attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz?
Choosing the best Centerville disorderly conduct attorney can seem like a huge task—there are many choices out there. At Horwitz & Horwitz, we believe that once you have spoken to one of our highly skilled attorneys, your choice will be clear. Handling any criminal charge—even a misdemeanor—on your own is rarely a good idea. When you have a Horwitz & Horwitz attorney by your side, you stand a good chance of negotiating a plea for lesser charges and penalties or having the charges dismissed altogether.
Our firm was founded in 2009 by Jonathan and Barbara Horwitz, who have 53 years of combined experience between them. Our primary goal is to provide quality service to every client while adding a highly personalized client experience. Attorney Jonathan Horwitz worked for almost eleven years as a prosecutor, which means he has a deep understanding of how the other side works and what it will take to secure the best deal possible. At Horwitz & Horwitz, we work closely with our clients to come up with a strategy that is uniquely tailored to their situation and one that will achieve the best possible outcome.
What is Disorderly Conduct?
Ohio Revised Code, Section 2917.11 covers a lot of ground regarding activities that fall under disorderly conduct. Essentially, you cannot do any of the following in Ohio without risking disorderly conduct charges:
Recklessly annoying, causing an inconvenience to, or alarming another person by:
- Making threats to harm another person or their property
- Engaging in behavior that could be considered violent
- Making loud or obnoxious noise that could be considered excessive
- Gesturing in an offensive manner or making an utterance that could be considered extremely “coarse.”
- Making taunts, challenges, or hurling insults at another person
- Taking steps to hinder or prevent another’s movements on a public street, or on a public or private property when you are interfering with another’s rights
- Engaging in offensive or annoying conduct when you are voluntarily intoxicated, which in turn creates a condition that presents a risk of physical harm to others
There is more language associated with disorderly conduct in the state of Ohio, but what you need to know is that you could potentially be charged with disorderly conduct by simply causing inconvenience or annoyance to another—even when there is no actual harm inflicted. Being intoxicated is not a defense to disorderly conduct charges, so you should always think twice about drinking alcohol to excess.
What Are the Types of Disorderly Conduct in Ohio?
Disorderly conduct is a minor misdemeanor unless aggravating factors apply. Aggravating factors under the disorderly conduct statute include:
- Persisting in the specific type of disorderly conduct after receiving a warning to stop
- Engaging in disorderly conduct within a school safety zone or in the vicinity of a school
- Behaving in a disorderly fashion during an emergency (accident, riot, fire, disaster, etc.), while in the presence of police or emergency personnel
- Behaving in a disorderly fashion in a hospital or other type of emergency facility, or while in the presence of emergency personnel
- Hindering police or emergency personnel from doing their jobs with your disorderly behavior
- Three convictions of “regular” disorderly conduct while intoxicated elevate the charges to aggravated disorderly conduct.
What Happens if You Are Charged with Disorderly Conduct?
A minor misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of $150, while aggravated disorderly conduct is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, and a fine as high as $250. Aside from the fines, potential jail time, and a blemish on your criminal record, there are other consequences of a disorderly conduct conviction. You could potentially lose your job, or even a professional license because of your conviction.
If you are a college student who is found guilty of disorderly conduct you could face suspension from your school, removal from certain college programs, disciplinary actions from your college, or even the loss of federal student loans. Any disciplinary action taken by a college can reflect poorly on you as you pursue a professional career or attempt to further your education.
While a disorderly conduct conviction may not sound that serious, you must take the charges very seriously. Some people may choose to fight this type of misdemeanor charge on their own, thinking they don’t really need a Centerville disorderly conduct attorney. This is virtually never a good idea.
A disorderly conduct conviction could potentially keep you from working with children or the elderly or from another type of position of public trust. You could even have an Ohio business license revoked as a result of a criminal conviction—even a misdemeanor conviction. Having an attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz who knows all the ins and outs of the criminal justice system can make a difference in your case.
How Can an Experienced Centerville Disorderly Conduct Attorney Help?
A skilled Centerville disorderly conduct attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz will work hard to negotiate a favorable disposition to your charges. Our attorneys can potentially have fourth-degree misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct down to a minor misdemeanor or have a minor misdemeanor disorderly conduct entirely dismissed. Perhaps our legal team can prove a lack of reasonable suspicion regarding your charges, violations of your civil rights, lack of a warrant, chain of custody issues with evidence like video surveillance, or even lack of probable cause for arrest.
Whatever your situation, having attorneys Jonathan Horwitz and Barbara Horwitz on your side is highly likely to result in less severe consequences for your charges. Speaking to a passionate, dedicated, experienced Centerville disorderly conduct attorney from our firm can give you the confidence you need to make the best decision for your future. We also serve Springboro, Beavercreek, Miamisburg, and Kettering. Contact Horwitz & Horwitz today to speak to Jonathan or Barbara.