What are Disorderly Conduct Defenses in Arizona?

Sometimes referred to as “disturbing the peace”, disorderly conduct is a crime that can be committed in a variety of ways. Arizona’s law definition of the charge is very broad, allowing for a great deal of subjectivity. Consequently, many times this will be the charge for someone when their crime simply doesn’t fit any other well-defined charge.

What is Considered Disorderly Conduct in Arizona?

According to ARS 13-2904, the state of Arizona defines disorderly conduct as the knowing engagement of specific types of disruptive behavior, with the intent of disturbing a person, family, or a quiet neighborhood. It is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by serving six months of jail time in many cases.

disorderly conduct - street fight Examples of Disorderly Conduct

As mentioned above, the definition within the state of Arizona is broad. Therefore, this charge can include a variety of criminal acts such as:

  • Making unreasonable noise.
  • Engaging in fighting, violence, or exhibiting disruptive behavior.
  • Using offensive language, abusive language, or offensive gestures or language.
  • Making a commotion that is intended to prevent a lawful meeting or a transaction.
  • Refusing to obey the lawful order of dispersing instruments or deadly weapons.

Real-World Examples of Disorderly Conduct

Even with the above examples, understanding what could constitute a disorderly conduct charge in the state of Arizona in a real-world case might still not be clear. Consider the following examples for more clarity on the topic:

  • Playing excessively loud music in a communal location like an apartment complex.
  • Challenging someone to fight in a bar or at a concert.
  • Refusing to listen to a police officer’s order to stay away from a potentially hazardous substance.
  • Being publicly intoxicated.
  • Yelling at referees at sporting events.
  • In some cases even making suicidal statements.

Penalties For Disorderly Conduct in AZ

As briefly outlined above, the punishment for disorderly conduct in the state of Arizona is up to six months in jail. However, many charges either include a maximum fine of $2,500 or consist of no jail time and consist of the fine alone.

Common Defenses in a Disorderly Conduct Case

If you or someone you love is facing a disorderly conduct charge, you have the right to contact an attorney to fight on your behalf. Generally, the most common defense associated with this charge includes proving that the crime that is said to have been committed wasn’t committed. Other defenses include addressing or challenging the all-important “intent” to disturb the peace or proving that law enforcement did not have probable cause before the arrest.

Is Disorderly Conduct The Same as Domestic Violence?

While these charges are not exactly the same, they do have some similarities. Disorderly conduct can serve as the basis for a domestic violence allegation. If a domestic violence charge is added to a disorderly conduct charge, then, of course, there are other penalties that are added, including potentially the loss of one’s constitutional right to bear arms.

Bottom Line: Contact Us For Help

Many Arizonans have found themselves facing a disorderly conduct charge. These charges are worth challenging because the law is subjective and vague. Therefore, determining whether you were disorderly or not can be a personal opinion, meaning a judge may feel differently than the arresting officer felt during the arresting innocent about your intent to disturb others. Thankfully, we are here for you and are ready to fight on your side. While you might have messed up, if your intent was not to initiate harm or cause disorder, it’s worth fighting against this charge.


Contact The Nolan Law Firm

The Nolan Law Firm