“Disorderly conduct” is a criminal charge that applies to several types of situations, a fact that can make it seem a bit vague and even confusing. Disorderly conduct is described as conduct that disturbs the public peace, offends public morals or undermines public safety. It can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on what the individual is accused of doing.

The main thing to know about a disorderly conduct charge is that you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about what happened. Chances are, a good attorney will be able to get the charges dismissed. We’ve seen many cases where disorderly conduct was just a default charge because there was nothing else that applied to the situation. If you haven’t broken any laws but you were rude or confrontational with the police, you might end up with one of these charges.

One common type of disorderly conduct is knowingly making a false report to a public safety agency. A false report of child abuse, a fire or a crime is against the law. Another example is when creditors harass or intimidate debtors by calling and using tactics meant to scare or pressure the person they’re contacting. The difference between these two examples just goes to show that disorderly conduct is a catchall.

A conviction of disorderly conduct can include fines and a public service requirement. Incarceration is rare, but possible. Fines can get up to $10,000 in some cases and the community service hours can range from 30 to 120.

In any situation where you’re facing criminal charges, we recommend looking for an Illinois defense attorney who has handled cases with those exact charges in the past. We believe this gives you the best chance at success. In a case of disorderly conduct, your goal is to avoid a conviction. Look or a defense attorney who is local, knows the judges and prosecutors and has a good reputation. Perhaps most importantly, they should be able to demonstrate a history of success in similar cases. Even if you think your charges are unfounded, don’t count on the judge to agree with you. Get an attorney who can put together the best case on your behalf.