Utah’s definition of “disorderly conduct” is very broad and allows prosecutors to charge defendants with a crime for a wide variety of behaviors. Because of the way Utah defines disorderly conduct, prosecutors often charge people with disorderly conduct for behavior that does not qualify as any other crime. Similarly, disorderly conduct often accompanies other charges because it is much easier to prove disorderly conduct than other crimes.
While the broad definition of disorderly conduct often helps prosecutors make their cases, it also gives criminal defense attorneys interesting language to use in defense. Either way, disorderly conduct convictions are common and Open Legal Services lawyers can fight for your rights through the legal process.
Defining “Disorderly Conduct”
A person can be charged with disorderly conduct for many behaviors. First, a person may be charged if she refuses to comply with a police officer’s order to move from a public place. She may also be charged if she knowingly creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition which serves no legitimate purpose.
Next, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct if he recklessly creates a risk of, or intends to cause, public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm and engages in fighting, violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior, makes unreasonable noises in a public place or can be heard in a public place, or obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic in a public place.
Disorderly Conduct Penalties
Disorderly conduct is an infraction unless a person’s disorderly conduct continues after the person is asked to stop. If the person refuses to stop, disorderly conduct becomes a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to $750 in fines.