Olsinski Law Firm team

Disorderly Conduct

Renowned Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyers Committed to Keeping Misdemeanor Convictions Off Our Clients’ Records

In North Carolina, disorderly conduct is a crime that prohibits individuals from creating certain types of public disturbances. While a first-time conviction for disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor, a second or subsequent conviction will add a felony to your record. Thus, it is essential to vigorously defend against these allegations to avoid the possibility of a felony conviction down the road.

At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we’ve assembled a dedicated team of criminal defense attorneys with extensive experience successfully defending clients in disorderly conduct cases. We take a strategic approach to every case we handle, developing compelling defenses designed to limit any impact your recent arrest has on the rest of your life.

What is Disorderly Conduct in North Carolina?

If you have been accused of disorderly conduct, it is typically because the police are alleging through your actions or words that you were plainly likely to breach the peace. This can happen by provoking retaliation or by getting into a fight itself. Disorderly conduct is a very common charge, which often comes up when people are drinking, but not always.

Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-288.4, disorderly conduct is defined as intentionally creating a public disturbance through any of the following means:

  • Engaging in fighting or other violent conduct ,
  • Provoking someone using gestures, words, or actions,
  • Taking possession of a building or facility without the owner’s permission,
  • Refusing to obey a lawful order to vacate,
  • Disobeying an order of the administration of an educational facility regarding gatherings or blocking entrances or exits,
  • Disrupting teachers or students at an educational institution,
  • Disturbing the peace on a school bus,
  • Disturbing the peace at a funeral or memorial, and
  • Disturbing the peace of a religious service or assembly.

Importantly, you cannot be arrested for exercising your First Amendment rights. For example, you cannot be charged with disorderly conduct for participating in a lawful protest. However, there is a fine line between a lawful protest and disorderly conduct, which is why it is essential to work with a lawyer who has specific experience defending these cases.

Officers like to arrest people for disorderly conduct when they believe someone violated the law but cannot think of another offense to charge. In these situations, your Charlotte disorderly conduct lawyer often has very good grounds to challenge the accusations against you.

Punishments for a North Carolina Disorderly Conduct Conviction

Disorderly conduct is typically a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, if you were convicted of disrupting a funeral service or memorial, the offense is a Class I misdemeanor, provided it is your first disorderly conduct conviction. If you have one prior conviction under this, you’ll face a Class I felony. And, if you have two prior convictions for disorderly conduct related to disturbing a funeral or memorial service, the crime will be graded as a Class H felony.

In felony disorderly conduct cases, a conviction will result in the very real possibility of a jail sentence. Thus, it is essential to secure the help of an experienced Charlotte disorderly conduct attorney to protect your rights and ensure your case ends in the best result possible.

Have You Been Arrested for Disorderly Conduct in Charlotte?

Many officers believe the North Carolina disorderly conduct law is broader than the statute is. Because of this, these charges are almost always worth fighting. Come in for a free consultation, and let us talk to you about your situation and what we can do to help. With two convenient locations in Charlotte and Concord, the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, serves all surrounding areas with ease and convenience. Let our experience fighting the court system help you. For a free consultation, please contact a Charlotte criminal defense attorney with the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC. You can reach us at 704-405-2850, or you can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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