In Criminal Defense law in Pennsylvania, disorderly conduct charges are fairly common. Disorderly Conduct charges are common in Criminal Defense due to the fact that the disorderly conduct statute in PA covers a variety of different behaviors. It is a broad statute that allows law enforcement to gain control over situations that involve large crowds of people. According to the PA Crimes Code, "a person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he: engages is fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; makes unreasonable noise; preliminary hearings uses obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor". The purpose of the statute is not to punish any behavior deemed obnoxious or annoying, but rather to protect society from behavior that disrupts peace.
Disorderly conduct is graded as a summary offense. If you are charged with disorderly conduct, there is a potential of spending up to 90 days in jail. In certain situations, the penalty if charged with disorderly conduct could potentially be more severe. According to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, disorderly conduct is a third degree misdemeanor "if the intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to desist". entering a guilty plea A misdemeanor of the third degree can result in up to one year of jail time. There are possible defenses to the crime of disorderly conduct, such as lack of intent or knowledge that your behavior or actions were annoying or alarming. Although disorderly conduct charges may not seem serious, they could still result in serious penalties such as jail time. It is important to consult with a Pennsylvania defense attorney in order to receive the best possible outcome for your disorderly conduct case.