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April 02, 2010

Arguing with Police Officers does not equal Disorderly Conduct

In a recent Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals decision in State v. Teddy Ray Mitchell, the court found that the Defendant’s actions by arguing with police officers did not violate the law against disorderly conduct. In this case, the Defendant attended a rally at the County Courthouse. He was confronted by officers initially for parking in an area that had been designated as a “no parking zone” due to the rally and then he was later confronted for attempting to bring an American flag on a standard flagpole to the rally as flagpoles had been prohibited due to concerns that they could be used as weapons. The police officers testified at the trial that when they confronted the Defendant that he became irate and belligerent and used the flagpole against one of the officers when the officers arrested him. After a jury trial, Mr. Mitchell was acquitted of the resisting arrest charges but was found guilty of disorderly conduct and sentenced to thirty days in jail. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the decision holding that the proof did not demonstrate that the Defendant acted in a threatening manner.
If you are charged with disorderly conduct or any criminal offense, do not hesitate to contact Vince Wyatt or David Raybin at 615.256.6666.