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Disorderly Conduct

Laws are implemented not only to bar people from doing violent or unlawful activity, they’re also designed to protect the general public. Certain actions such as engaging in fights, being loud and raucous or directing abusive epithets or gestures to another person can land you with a criminal charge of disorderly conduct. 

Disorderly conduct is a serious crime with harsh penalties. You could be charged with a misdemeanor and face expensive fines, possible restitution and possibly time in jail. You will still be charged if you had good intentions and the act was harmless or simply a joke. With such strict laws and steep penalties, it’s highly recommended you seek legal counsel if you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct.

Defense Attorney for Disorderly Conduct in West Des Moines, IA

Disrupting the public order in Iowa can mean a criminal record. If you or someone you know has been charged with disorderly conduct, it’s important you have legal representation such as McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. The violent crimes attorney team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has been practicing for years. We can provide an effective and sturdy defense tailored for your case. 

Get in contact with us at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation. At the appointment we can discuss your charges, a defense plan and what you should do next. You can find us at West Des Moines, but we practice throughout the Polk County and Dallas County area including Adel, Waukee, Perry, Miniburn, De Soto and Ankeny.

Overview of Disorderly Conduct in IA

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What Does Iowa Consider to Be Disorderly Conduct?

The state of Iowa has outlawed certain actions in public to protect Iowan citizens and visitors. According to the Iowa Code 723.4, you can be charged with disorderly conduct if:

  • You engage in fighting or violent behavior in a public place or near an assembly of people. Athletes at a sporting event are exempted from this if the actions were related to that sport;
  • Make raucous and loud noises near any residence or public building that could cause distress to the inhabitants or a passersby;
  • Say abusive epithets, threats or gestures when knowing it is likely to provoke a violent reaction from the other person;
  • Without lawful authority disturbs a lawful assembly of people intentionally;
  • Initiates or circulates a report or warning of fire, epidemic or other catastrophe while knowing the report is unfounded;
  • Publicly use the flag of the U.S. in such a manner to show disrespect with intent that this action will provoke or encourage another to commit assault; or
  • Obstruct a street, sidewalk, highway or other public way with intent to hinder its use

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Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Iowa

Although the crime isn’t violent, showing disorderly conduct can mean a criminal charge. If you’re convicted of disorderly conduct, you should expect to be charged with a simple misdemeanor. The penalties for a simple misdemeanor under Iowa Code includes:

  • A fine between $65 and $625; and
  • A jail sentence of up to 30 days

The penalties for disorderly conduct may seem minor in comparison to other public disorder crimes. However, it’s important to understand the impact a criminal conviction, charge or arrest can have on your life. Once you’ve been arrested, charged or convicted the information will be added to your public criminal record. Meaning any employer, peer, licensing agency or whomever else can view your charges. The mark on your record could lead to missed job opportunities, educational scholarships and hurt your personal relationships. 

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Additional Resources 

Guide to Criminal Court Procedure – Visit the official website for the Iowa Courts to learn more about the procedure for criminal court. Access the site to find more information regarding bail, arraignments, evidentiary hearings, motions and other imperative court information. 

Iowa’s Laws on Disorderly Conduct – Visit the official website for the Iowa Code and read more on their public disorder laws. Access the statutes and view the elements, penalties and definitions for disorderly conduct as well as other public disorder related crimes.

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Disorderly Conduct Lawyer in Polk County, Iowa

If you or someone you know has been arrested for disorderly conduct or any other public disorder crime, then it’s crucial you have a trusted legal representative to guide you. The attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. would like to be that person. Our team of lawyers have been practicing for years and want to steer you in the right direction.

Contact us now at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation free. Our lawyers will chart out a defense plan and unveil all your legal options available to you. We practice throughout both Polk County and Dallas County including Altoona, Perry, West Des Moines and Ankeny