Defending Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct (sometimes called “disturbing the peace”) is a very common criminal charge because its definition is so broad, encompassing a wide range of behavior. See A.R.S. § 13-2904. Disorderly conduct includes, but is not limited to, fighting, violent or seriously disruptive behavior, unreasonable noise, and gestures intended to provoke physical retaliation. See id. The prosecutor, however, will have to show that you intended to disturb the peace, or you had knowledge that you were doing so.

Most of the time disorderly conduct is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious level of misdemeanor in Arizona. Class 1 misdemeanors carry penalties of up to six (6) months in jail and $2500 in fines. Sometimes, however, disorderly conduct can be charged as a Class 6 felony. If a firearm is involved, for example, the disorderly conduct can be charged as a felony. The penalties are more severe if you are found guilty of felony disorderly conduct. You would be facing up to one (1) year in jail. Additionally, being found guilty would mean that the label of “convicted felon” would attach to you, which could very likely affect things like future employment or renting an apartment.

If you are charged with disorderly conduct, a skilled Arizona criminal defense lawyer can help you deal with the charges. Disorderly conduct is typically charged with other crimes, and an attorney can help you negotiate a good deal if it is in your best interest. A defense attorney also can help forge a strong defense. For example, if you were acting in self defense, or if your behavior did not really rise to the level of “seriously disruptive,” an attorney can help you craft strong, compelling arguments in your defense.

Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC’s criminal defense attorneys in Arizona can provide you with a vigorous defense to disorderly conduct charges, and we will help you explore all options so that you obtain a favorable outcome. CALL TODAY FOR A CONSULTATION: (520) 433-9031. Or email us at