Disorderly Conduct in GA
Disorderly Conduct in Georgia
This article discusses the charge of Disorderly Conduct in Georgia. Learn what constitutes Disorderly Conduct and the penalties for committing any act of disorderly conduct.
What Is Disorderly Conduct in Georgia
Generally speaking, any conduct that disturbs the peace, morals, or safety of the public is grounds for arrest. Disorderly conduct is generally deliberate behaviors which cause others to feel threatened, annoyed, intimidated, or hindered.
Examples of Disorderly Conduct
There are numerous reasons as to why someone may be charged with Disorderly Conduct. In some situations, police responding to a public disturbance may use this charge to arrest those involved. A prosecutor may work with an assault and battery defense lawyer to have an assault or a battery charges reduced to disorderly conduct.
Common actions that bring disorderly conduct charges are:
- Using Fighting Words. In heated situations it is all too common for tensions to escalate. This can result in people using terms or making statements that are deemed to be threatening in nature. In a legal context, this refers to "words which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace."
- Threatening Actions. Physical gestures and posturing that project aggression can be deemed to be disorderly conduct. This is especially true if the actions are done in close proximity to another person. An example is, flipping someone off is rude and somewhat aggressive, however; doing the same thing inches away from someone’s face takes things to a totally different level. Other actions include throwing objects, raising a fist as if you are going to hit someone, destoying property, etc.
- Obstructing Traffic. From standing in the street to block traffic to creating obstacles to impede traffic, you cannot interfere in the ability of others to travel or move about.
- Disruptive Behavior. Panhandling, making excessive noise, improper use of fireworks, unlawful assembly, and destroying property, etc.
GA Code § 16-11-39 (2020) | Disorderly Conduct
The specifics and legal definition of disorderly conduct is found in Georgia Code 16-11-39. The following is the law as it is written:
- (a) A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct when such person commits any of the following:
- (1) Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby such person is placed in reasonable fear of the safety of such person’s life, limb, or health;
- (2) Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby the property of such person is placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed;
- (3) Without provocation, uses to or of another person in such other person’s presence, opprobrious or abusive words which by their very utterance tend to incite to an immediate breach of the peace, that is to say, words which as a matter of common knowledge and under ordinary circumstances will, when used to or of another person in such other person’s presence, naturally tend to provoke violent resentment, that is, words commonly called “fighting words”; or
- (4) Without provocation, uses obscene and vulgar or profane language in the presence of or by telephone to a person under the age of 14 years which threatens an immediate breach of the peace.
- (b) Any person who commits the offense of disorderly conduct shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
- (c) This Code section shall not be deemed or construed to affect or limit the powers of counties or municipal corporations to adopt ordinances or resolutions prohibiting disorderly conduct within their respective limits.
What is the penalty for disorderly conduct in Georgia?
In Georgia, disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense. The penalty, if found guilty, is up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 fine.
Crimes against public order
Offenses against public order and safety are part of a related area of Georgia law. This area covers:
- § 16-11-30 – Riot
- § 16-11-31 – Inciting to Riot
- § 16-11-32 – Affray
- § 16-11-33 – Unlawful Assembly
- § 16-11-34 – Preventing or Disrupting Lawful Meetings, Gatherings, or Processions
- § 16-11-34.1 – Preventing or Disrupting General Assembly Sessions or other Meetings of Members; Unlawful Activities Within the State Capitol or certain Capitol Square Buildings
- § 16-11-34.2 – Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct at any Funeral or Memorial Service
- § 16-11-35 – Removal from Campus or Facility of Unit of University System or School; Failure to Leave
- § 16-11-36 – Loitering or Prowling
- § 16-11-37 – Terroristic Threats and Acts; Penalties
- § 16-11-37.1 – Dissemination of Information Relating to Terroristic Acts
- § 16-11-38 – Wearing Mask, Hood, or Device which Conceals Identity of Wearer
- § 16-11-39.1 – Harassing Phone Calls
- § 16-11-39.2 – Unlawful Conduct During 9-1-1 Call
- § 16-11-40 – Criminal Defamation
- § 16-11-41 – Public Drunkenness
- § 16-11-42 – Refusal to Relinquish Telephone Party Line in Case of Emergency; False Request on Party Line as to Emergency; Warning Printed in Telephone Books
- § 16-11-43 – Obstructing Highways, Streets, Sidewalks, or other Public Passages
- § 16-11-44 – Maintaining a Disorderly House
Should you call a defense lawyer?
Any arrest record could have a negative impact on your life for decades. If you have been charged with any crime you should meet with a lawyer to discuss your case. You need to know if there is a chance to have the charged dropped, reduced, or what the outcome may be to fight it in court.
If you have been charged with Disorderly Conduct, or similar charges, contact our disorderly conduct defense lawyers at 770-956-1400.
CREDITS and FOOTNOTES
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