Fort Worth Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense in Fort Worth that includes a wide range of offensive actions and behaviors. As set forth in Texas Penal Code Section 42.01, anyone facing these charges may face jail time and/or a fine.
Although misdemeanor offenses generally require a law enforcement official to personally observe the offensive action or behavior that led to a charge, such direct visual observation is not required for a charge of disorderly conduct. As a result, arrests can be made if a police officer finds someone in a suspicious place or under circumstances that reasonably indicate the person committed the offense.
Disorderly conduct is often used as a catch-all charge when a law enforcement official believes someone is acting inappropriately in public or being disrespectful. As such, the definition of what constitutes disorderly conduct is somewhat flexible and open to interpretation. A Fort Worth disorderly conduct lawyer can help you understand the charges and evaluate your options moving forward. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, contact an accomplished attorney today.
Examples of Common Offenses in Fort Worth
There are essentially two types of disorderly conduct offenses in Texas, the type that does not involve a firearm and the type that does. The most common actions and behaviors that lead to charges of disorderly conduct not related to firearms are:
- Using abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place
- Making an offensive gesture in a public place
- Creating, by chemical means, a noxious and unreasonable odor in a public place
- Abusing – or threatening to abuse – another person in a public place
- Making unreasonable noise in a public place
- Fighting in a public place
- Spying on someone in their house or hotel room – or someone in a public place such as a changing room, dressing room, restroom, or shower
- Exposing one’s genitals or anus in a reckless manner and without concern as to who may observe the exposure
This type of disorderly conduct is generally a Class C misdemeanor and, as such, may carry a fine of up to $500. More importantly, it may create a permanent criminal record. This is why it is imperative for someone who is facing charges to contact a Fort Worth disorderly conduct lawyer as soon as possible.
The most common types of firearm-related disorderly conduct charges are:
- Discharging a firearm in a public place
- Displaying a firearm in a public place that is intended to alarm others
- Discharging a firearm across a public road
A firearm-related disorderly conduct is generally a Class B misdemeanor and may carry a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000. Like a non-firearm related charge, this offense may also result in a permanent criminal record.
Options for a Disorderly Conduct Record
There are defenses that can be raised against many disorderly conduct charges. However, even if these defenses fail, the person may be able to seek an expunction order or a non-disclosure order at some later point in time.
An expunction order may result in the destruction of all the records concerning the original charge, the prosecution of the case, the outcome, and the sentence. It essentially returns the person to the status they had before the arrest.
A non-disclosure order, on the other hand, does not require the destruction of all the records concerning a conviction. However, it does limit law enforcement agencies from releasing that information to anyone other than another law enforcement agency or certain other governmental agencies.
Contact a Fort Worth Disorderly Conduct Attorney Today
Since disorderly conduct covers many types of behaviors law enforcement considers inappropriate, it is not uncommon for people to incorrectly face this charge. Therefore, anyone facing this charge should thoroughly investigate the details surrounding their arrest.
If you were charged with disorderly conduct, contact a Fort Worth disorderly conduct attorney who is experienced in dealing with this type of case. Legal counsel could help determine whether you were incorrectly charged, protect your rights, take full advantages of any defenses that are available to you, and help guide you through the legal process.