Particularly during times of protest, even peaceful protest, there can be an uptick in charges of disorderly conduct in Maryland. The law specifies several actions that are considered disorderly conduct, but the charge can also be applied in a fairly broad manner. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct in Maryland, it’s important to work with the right lawyer to understand the consequences.
What Can Lead to a Charge of Disorderly Conduct in Maryland?
Disorderly conduct is also known as disturbing the peace, and it can be used to charge someone who is:
- Making excessive noise
- Willfully obstructing the entrance into a public place (parking lot, street, school, building)
- Willfully obstructing a path on public transportation (train, school bus, airplane)
- Making obscene actions or gestures that others find offensive or disturbing
- Intoxicated in public
- Interrupting a sporting event
- Refusing to leave a public building after being asked to do so
- Willfully acting in a manner that disturbs the peace
- Disobeying an order from law enforcement to prevent disturbance of the peace
A public place could be anywhere that is not a home or office, including a street, sidewalk, park, bus station, restaurant or store. Unfortunately, sometimes disorderly conduct is used to prevent people from peacefully protesting. However, in other cases, this charge can be used to protect the public from nuisances like public arguments and bar fights where other charges might not apply.
What Happens If You Are Charged With Disorderly Conduct in Maryland?
It’s critical to get an attorney involved early on in the process, as disorderly conduct in Maryland is a misdemeanor and very serious. Disorderly conduct can be punished with a fine up to $500 and jail time up to 60 days. If you are charged with interfering with access to a medical facility, like a hospital, it could come with up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. While there are no standardized guidelines for repeat offenders, the court takes disturbing the peace seriously and will likely increase the penalties awarded for repeat offenders.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP if You Are Arrested for Disorderly Conduct in Maryland
If you are searching for a criminal defense or disorderly conduct defense attorney in Maryland and unsure where to turn, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.