The charge of Disorderly Conduct in Arizona provides a very large net for law enforcement. It's a very popular charge and can be difficult to defend in many cases. Difficult...but not impossible.
Here's the law:
13-2904. Disorderly conduct; classification
A. A person commits disorderly conduct if, with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or with knowledge of doing so, such person:
1. Engages in fighting, violent or seriously disruptive behavior; or
2. Makes unreasonable noise; or
3. Uses abusive or offensive language or gestures to any person present in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation by such person; or
4. Makes any protracted commotion, utterance or display with the intent to prevent the transaction of the business of a lawful meeting, gathering or procession; or
5. Refuses to obey a lawful order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, a hazard or any other emergency; or
6. Recklessly handles, displays or discharges a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
B. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraph 6 is a class 6 felony. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 is a class 1 misdemeanor.
So what does that mean? Here's a scenario:
You and your girlfriend/boyfriend get into a heated argument in your small cramped apartment late on a Friday night because one of you thinks the latest season of You is becoming contrived and predictable.
Twenty minutes later, there's a knock at the door and an officer informs you that they've received a noise complaint. Check the list above. Sounds a lot like A(3)...right? Bingo. You can now be cited for Disorderly Conduct.
This scenario is very common. If you and the other person got really heated, and you live together...you're probably going to be slapped with a Domestic Violence charge on the tail end of that as well. Now you're facing a maximum of 6 months in jail, $2500 in fines, and 3 years of unsupervised probation.
On a side note...Season 3 of You WAS contrived, predictable, and garbage.
Anyway...so what about a defense?! Well...take a look at the statute, paying attention to the words in bold. The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had INTENT to disturb or KNOWLEDGE that you are disturbing someone. The State must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone was ACTUALLY disturbed.
That's where the knowledgable attorneys at Paradise Valley Law can help. We know the law. And we know how to mount an effective defense against a Disorderly Conduct charge.
So if you've been charged, call us anytime. We'll consult with you on your case and give you an honest, upfront assessment of your options.