November 15, 2023 | Kentucky Law
Disorderly conduct charges carry quite a broad definition as they can involve multiple types of behavior causing inconvenience to others or your surroundings. Understanding the specifics around disorderly conduct charges, the penalties you face, and potential legal defenses is essential.
First-Degree Disorderly Conduct
In Kentucky, disorderly conduct is defined by Kentucky Revised Statute 525.055. According to this statute, you’re guilty of disorderly conduct if you engage in any of the following behaviors with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or wantonly creating a risk thereof:
- Fighting, violent, threatening, or tumultuous behavior;
- Generate unreasonable noise; or
- Create a hazardous or physically offensive condition without a legitimate purpose.
The prosecutor must also prove that the actions were in a public place.
Under Kentucky law, a public place is defined as a location accessible to the general public which could include schools, highways and roads, recreational venues like parks or playgrounds, and commercial spots like stores and movie theaters
It’s also illegal to act in any of these ways within 300 feet of a:
- Cemetery during a funeral or burial;
- Funeral home when there is a viewing of a deceased person;
- Funeral procession;
- Memorial service; or
- Building in which a funeral or memorial service is occurring.
This behavior must take place at any point between one hour prior to the event and one hour after the event ends for this element of the crime to be satisfied.
First-Degree Disorderly Conduct Penalties
In Kentucky, disorderly conduct in the first degree is a Class A Misdemeanor. If you are convicted of disorderly conduct, you face serious consequences under the law; you could spend up to 12 months in jail and be ordered to pay a fine of up to $500.
Second-Degree Disorderly Conduct
In Kentucky, second-degree disorderly conduct is similar to first-degree but slightly less severe. As outlined in Kentucky Revised Statute 525.060, you would be guilty of this crime if:
In a public setting with the intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm or carelessly creating a risk thereof,
- You engage in fighting or behave violently
- You create excessive noise
- You ignore official instructions from law enforcement agents issued for maintaining public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard, or other emergency; or
- Without having any legitimate purpose, you create a hazardous or physically offensive condition
Violating this section of the disorderly conduct statute in Kentucky is a Class B Misdemeanor.
Second-Degree Disorderly Conduct Penalties
If found guilty of second-degree disorderly conduct in Kentucky, you face harsh penalties under the law. Although less severe than first-degree disorderly conduct, a conviction can still result in spending up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
Legal Defenses to Disorderly Conduct
Every case needs to be thoroughly examined in order to devise the best defense strategy. However, when charged with disorderly conduct, successful legal defenses could include:
If your actions resulted from a need to protect yourself or others during an altercation, you may claim self-defense as long as the use of force was reasonable and necessary.
In situations where multiple individuals are involved or if the incident occurs amongst large crowds, there’s the potential for mistaken identity. In such cases, your lawyer may build a defense around a lack of evidence proving you were involved in the act.
This could include presenting alibi evidence – showing you were somewhere else at the time the crime was committed – meaning you couldn’t possibly have been involved.
No Intent To Cause Public Inconvenience or Alarm
Depending on the nature of the incident and circumstances surrounding it, demonstrating that you didn’t have any intent to cause public inconvenience or alarm could potentially lead to a dismissal or acquittal.
Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer To Help You Respond to Your Charges Effectively
To determine the best course of action, speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a disorderly conduct defense lawyer.
Contact the Lexington Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507