When someone assaults another person, the police can charge that person with assault. This is true of battery, unlawful entry, and other common offenses as well. Sometimes, the police in Smyrna believe a person’s behavior is disruptive enough to deserve arrest but that person’s actions are not severe enough to warrant a more serious charge. In this case, the police will often use the catch all charge of disorderly conduct.
Much of the criteria for disorderly conduct in Smyrna are subjective. For this reason, it may be worth hiring a dedicated attorney for help in fighting such a charge. A Smyrna disorderly conduct lawyer could fight for the best solution to your case.
What Constitutes Disorderly Conduct in Smyrna?
Chapter 66, Section 66-3 of the Smyrna County Code of Ordinances lists thirteen kinds of behavior that could constitute disorderly conduct. This list includes:
- Act in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another whereby any person is placed in fear of the safety of such person’s life, limb, or health
- Assemble or congregate with another or others for the purpose of illegal gaming
- Interfere, by acts of physical obstruction, with another’s pursuit of a lawful occupation
- Direct fighting words toward another, that is, words which by their very nature tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace
The above list is not a complete recitation of every prohibited action under the Smyrna County disorderly conduct ordinance.
Section 1-8 of the Smyrna County Code of Ordinances states that disorderly conduct is punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 as well as jail time not exceeding six months. Other possible punishments under Section 1-8 include probation or community service. Speak with a Smyrna disorderly conduct lawyer to learn more.
Freedom of Expression and Disorderly Conduct
If a person is on public property and expressing their opinion, even if that opinion is an unpopular one, that person’s behavior in many cases would be protected by the free speech clause of the first amendment of the United States Constitution.
It may seem strange then that one person can face charges for directing fighting words at someone or for interfering with another’s lawful occupation of the sidewalk. Disorderly conduct ordinances are in fact constitutional, however, as there are allowable limits to first amendment rights.
This balance can sometimes make a disorderly conduct charge easier for a lawyer to fight however because they could argue the individual was acting within their constitutional right to self-expression or that they were lawfully making use of public space. A person should reach out to a Smyrna disorderly conduct lawyer if charged with such a crime.
Speak with a Smyrna Disorderly Conduct Attorney Today
Disorderly Conduct charges in Smyrna are often worth challenging. Due to the delicate balance between freedom of expression and the goal of Smyrna police officers to keep the peace, many disorderly conduct charges are successfully challenged.
Consulting with an attorney is your first step in standing up for your rights. If you are facing charges for disorderly conduct, speak with a Smyrna disorderly conduct lawyer as soon as possible. Call today to set up a free consultation with an experienced attorney.