Disorderly Conduct


Disorderly conduct (also called disturbing the peace) is a misdemeanor that people are regularly charged with in Salisbury, North Carolina. Also, people often face charges for disturbing the peace for conducting sit-ins or other protests. As a result people in Charlotte, North Carolina are also often charged with disorderly conduct due to the amount of protests in Charlotte. Disorderly conduct is a Class 2 Misdemeanor and can land you a fine or even up to 60 days in jail depending on your record. If you’re facing disorderly conduct charges you need a North Carolina criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights.

What Type of Behavior is Disorderly Conduct?

According to North Carolina law, disturbing the peace occurs when a person intentionally does any of the following while in public:

  • Engage in fighting or violent conduct, or in conduct creating the threat of imminent violence.
  • Refuses to vacate public building or facility.
  • Disrupts, disturbs, or interferes with a funeral.
  • Makes any utterance, action, gesture, etc. intended to invoke violence.
  • Takes possession or exercises control of a public building or facility.
  • Disrupts, disturbs, or interferes with the teaching of students at public and private educational institutions.
  • Engages in conduct which disturbs the peace, order, or discipline on any public school bus or public school activity bus.
  • Disrupts, disturbs, or interferes with a religious service.

Finally, aside from the aforementioned conduct, many other types of behaviors may be considered disturbing the peace. In fact, some law enforcement officers treat disorderly conduct as a “catch-all” crime. Some law enforcement officers often charge people with disorderly conduct for simply being annoying. If you choose to hire an attorney from Stowe Law Firm, PLLC we will fight to defend you against warrantless claims and charges. Everyone deserves a fair trial. In addition, we will ensure that the prosecution and law enforcement officers follow the law. Lastly, we make sure the prosecution does not violate your constitutional rights.

Disorderly Conduct Charges while Protesting

Peaceful protest is at the heart of American democracy. Peaceful protest is one of the hallmarks of the First Amendment. Sometimes law enforcement officers violate peaceful protestors’ right to protest. For example though flag burning is offensive to some, it is perfectly legal. This conduct may cause an officer to illegally charge a protestor with disorderly conduct. If you’re facing charges for disorderly conduct as a result of a peaceful protest, we are proud to offer a discount on our legal fees to protect your rights! While protesting always remember that it is legal to film and to record police officers in North Carolina.

Resist Delay and Obstruct a Public Officer

Similar to disorderly conduct, resist, delay, and obstruct (RDO) is a Class 2 Misdemeanor. Resist Delay and Obstruct is often referred to as resisting arrest. While resisting arrest such as running away from a police officer is certainly RDO, there are other forms of conduct that can cause you to be charged with resist delay and obstructing. Anytime your actions delays or obstructs an officer from discharging his duties you could be charged with RDO. This does not only include things like running from the cops, it can also be giving the police a fake name, or refusing to comply with instructions. Like disorderly conduct, police officers often charge people with RDO even when they shouldn't.Unfortunately, sometimes people are inappropriately charged with resisting arrest just because they asked the arresting officer questions. In some instances people are charged with resisting arrest even when the police officer was using excessive force.

What Are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct and RDO in North Carolina?

Both disorderly conduct and resisting delaying or obstructing are Class 2 Misdemeanors. The penalties for disturbing the peace or resisting are as follows:

  • No priors: 1-30 days.
  • 1-4 priors: 1-45 days.
  • 5+ priors: 1-60 days.
  • Fine: Up to $1,000.
  • *Fines are up to the judges discretion.

If you’re facing charges for disturbing the peace, or resisting you need to contact Stowe Law Firm today for a free consultation with a Salisbury, North Carolina criminal defense attorney.

About Ryan Stowe

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Ryan Stowe is the principal attorney at Stowe Law Firm, PLLC. Mr. Stowe is proud to be practicing in his hometown of Salisbury, NC, and is a first generation Rowan County attorney. Mr. Stowe takes pride in being a criminal defense attorney. He focuse…

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