What is Disorderly Conduct? (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-39)
Have you been charged with Disorderly Conduct? Are you aware that they are treated as physical crimes or a violent physical crimes?
There are multiple ways that you can be charged with a Disorderly Conduct charge in Georgia.
You need the help of an experienced and trained criminal defense law firm to help you with these Disorderly Conduct charge. Many people don’t realize that a Disorderly Conduct charge can affect the rest of their life. A conviction with Disorderly Conduct will now be a part of YOUR criminal history and will be seen when you try to rent a house, apply for a loan of any type, get a promotion at work, or try to obtain new employment. An experienced Disorderly Conduct criminal defense attorney can help you control how this charge is treated both in court and how it will affect your future.
The State of Georgia (by legislature or court) refers to these crimes as Crimes Against the Person or Crimes Against People.
Many Claims of Disorderly Conduct are serious and no one should deminimize anyone’s experience. However, occasions arise where someone, in an argument, will call the police to solve a problem between the two of them, which almost always results in an arrest (even though it was just a misunderstanding between the parties).
There are multiple ways that the state (or prosecutor) can charge someone with Disorderly Conduct. A review of the Georgia Statutes show that you can be charged under a State Statute Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct OR you can be charged under a local municipality (city) disorderly conduct charge.
The difference between a State statute Disorderly Conduct and City Disorderly Conduct deals with how it is treated for negotiation with the solicitor or District Attorney’s office (prosecutor) AND, more importantly, sentencing. In all charges, any type of Disorderly Conduct charge will involve attempting to strike someone, in any manner, and making contact (no matter how small, even a slap can be treated as a battery).
The Georgia legislature defines and evaluates a State Disorderly Conduct (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-39) as follows:
(a) A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct when such person commits any of the following:
(1) Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby such person is placed in reasonable fear of the safety of such person’s life, limb, or health;
(2) Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby the property of such person is placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed;
(3) Without provocation, uses to or of another person in such other person’s presence, opprobrious or abusive words which by their very utterance tend to incite to an immediate breach of the peace, that is to say, words which as a matter of common knowledge and under ordinary circumstances will, when used to or of another person in such other person’s presence, naturally tend to provoke violent resentment, that is, words commonly called “fighting words”; or
(4) Without provocation, uses obscene and vulgar or profane language in the presence of or by telephone to a person under the age of 14 years which threatens an immediate breach of the peace.
(b) Any person who commits the offense of disorderly conduct shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) This Code section shall not be deemed or construed to affect or limit the powers of counties or municipal corporations to adopt ordinances or resolutions prohibiting disorderly conduct within their respective limits. a person makes contact with another person or intentionally causes harm to someone.
Under this code section Disorderly Conduct is a misdemeanor. This means, generally that this charge cannot carry more than 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.00. The overall toll, or effect, that it carries involves more than just misdemeanor consequences however.
There are additional situations which can cause this type of charge to be elevated in nature which would make the charge of Simple Battery or Simple Assault
Those particular situations involve:
- You are charged with Disorderly conduct but it changes to Battery or Simple Battery because it involves someone who is 65 or older or against a pregnant female;
- You are charged with Disorderly conduct but it changes to assault (or simple assault) because it involves a public transit vehicle (such as MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority), Gwinnett Transit Authority (GTA) or Cobb Transit Authority, (CTA)). These vehicles, or transit vehicles, include buses, vans, rail cars or any other form of transportation that receives a subsidy from tax revenues or operated under contracts with the counties or municipalities of the state;
- You are charged with the offense of Disorderly conduct but it changes to Battery (or Simple Battery) AND you are either a past or present spouse (husband and/or wife), are a parent of the same child, children, step parent or step child, foster parent or foster children;
- You are charged with Disorderly conduct but it changes to Battery (or Simple Battery) because it involves an employee of a public school system of this state and they are on their official duties or on school property (including the bus and bus stop)
- You are charged with Disorderly conduct but it changes to Battery (or Simple Battery) because it involves a correction officer;
- You are charged Disorderly conduct but it changes to with Battery ( or Simple Battery) because a healthcare worker or assisted nursing care is involved;
- You are charged with Disorderly conduct but it changes to Battery ( or Simple Battery) because a sportscaster or sports official is involved;
CAN I GIVE A DEFENSE TO THESE CHARGES?
You need the help of an experienced Disorderly Conduct Criminal Defense Attorney to help you with the charges of Disorderly Conduct. Many people don’t realize that Disorderly Conduct charges, which are considered a physical crime or violent physical crime, can affect the rest of their life. It would now be a part of your criminal history when you apply to rent a home, get a home loan, and even promotions at your job OR even getting a new job, not to mention applying to colleges. This charge can follow you for the rest of your life and cause issues every time it “pops up.” An experienced Disorderly Conduct criminal defense attorney can help you fight and control how this charge affects you in court and your future. As former prosecutors, our Disorderly Conduct criminal defense lawyers know and understand that the prosecution, or in almost every case – team of prosecutors, are highly skilled and trained to obtain and try to get a conviction on your case. That means it’s time to hire an experienced Disorderly Conduct criminal defense attorney that knows how to evaluate both sides of the case. Our team of Disorderly Conduct Criminal Defense Lawyers are former prosecutors and know how to mount a proper defense for your charge of Disorderly Conduct, Battery, Simple Battery or Aggravated Battery.
Being charged with Disorderly Conduct OR any criminal offense does not mean that you have to accept guilt, it means that you need help from a experienced attorney to mount a proper defense.
Our offices have a 24 hour response line (404-445-8494) and someone is available to answer your call and help. Call us now for a free case evaluation.