Newport Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney
Disorderly conduct laws exist in every state, and are often used as a “catch-all” charge for minor offenses. It is important to note that disorderly conduct is a prosecutable offense, which can lead to fines, jail time, and other punishments upon conviction.
In Newport Rhode Island, Disorderly Conduct is a relatively minor charge but it is one that must be taken seriously. Even though this a common charge for those vacationing in Newport any misdemeanor criminal conviction will leave you with a permanent criminal record and penalties for disorderly conduct can include jail time. Charges for domestic disorderly conduct, when the offense is alleged against someone with whom you have a domestic relationship as is identified under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, can carry with it additional penalties.
Given the wide range of behaviors that could constitute disorderly conduct, a person may be arrested for this crime without proper cause. Virtually any socially offensive or disruptive conduct may cause an arrest or charge and be prosecuted as disorderly conduct.
Some of the types of crimes commonly included in a disorderly conduct charge may include:
- Public drunkenness
- Inciting a riot
- Disturbing the peace
- Loitering in certain areas
- Fighting / physical altercations
- Obstructing traffic
- Use of extremely obscene or abusive language
- Loud or unreasonable noise
- Obstruction, disturbance, or interference with normal activities or business
- Engaging in other forms of lascivious or offensive behaviors according to the statute
Disorderly Conduct Laws and Penalties in Newport Rhode Island
TITLE 11 – Criminal Offenses
CHAPTER 11-45 – Disorderly Conduct
§ 11-45-1 Disorderly conduct. – (a) A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior
- In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbs another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities
- Directs at another person in a public place offensive words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction on the part of the average person so addressed
- Alone or with others, obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place ordinarily used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances
- Engages in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering
- Enters upon the property of another and for a lascivious purpose looks into an occupied dwelling or other building on the property through a window or other opening; or
- Who without the knowledge or consent of the individual, looks for a lascivious purpose through a window, or any other opening into an area in which another would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a restroom, locker room, shower, changing room, dressing room, bedroom, or any other such private area, not withstanding any property rights the individual may have in the location in which the private area is located
- [Deleted by P.L. 2008, ch. 183, § 1].
(b) Any person, including a police officer, may be a complainant for the purposes of instituting action for any violation of this section.
(c) Any person found guilty of the crime of disorderly conduct shall be imprisoned for a term of not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.
(d) In no event shall subdivisions (a)(2) – (5) of this section be construed to prevent lawful picketing or lawful demonstrations including, but not limited to, those relating to a labor dispute.
Criminal law embodies the statutes defining criminal offenses, including how offenders are to be charged, tried, and punished. If you are facing criminal charges in Rhode Island such as DUI / DWI (Drunk Driving) charges, narcotics possession or intent, assault, homicide, burglary, rape, or any other criminal charge, contact Defense Attorney S. Joshua Macktaz for a free consultation.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. Also, the Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.