What is Disorderly Conduct in Tennessee?
Imagine that you disagree with another patron at a Nashville bar. All you do is get into an argument that leads to yelling, so you do not believe you have violated the law. But the police arrive, and you’re arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Suddenly, you have a significant problem on your hands.
Disorderly conduct laws in Tennessee were passed to make it illegal to disturb the peace of people around you. If you are charged with this crime, speak to a disorderly conduct criminal defense attorney immediately.
What Conduct is Considered Disorderly?
Disorderly conduct in Tennessee is covered under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 39-17-305, and it can involve:
- Threatening or fighting behavior
- Creating an offensive or hazardous condition with no valid purpose
- Not obeying law enforcement orders to disperse in an emergency situation
Other examples are creating hazardous conditions without reason, being unreasonably unruly and noisy, and preventing others from engaging in legal activities. There is a separate offense in Tennessee for disorderly conduct that occurs at funerals, and this involves protesting, offensive gestures, or other similar conduct within 500 feet of a funeral, viewing, or burial.
Because disorderly conduct has a broad legal definition in Tennessee and often relies on the opinion of the police, it is not difficult to be charged with this crime. Officers can be subjective when deciding whether someone’s conduct warrants an arrest for disorderly conduct.
You may be arrested and charged if you verbally disagree with a family member, punch a vehicle, or curse loudly in public. Further, if you are disrespectful to the police, there is a good chance you will be charged with disorderly conduct.
No matter what conduct led to your arrest, always have a defense lawyer evaluate your charges. Often, there is not enough evidence that your behavior violated the law, and the right criminal defense attorney can help.
What Are The Punishments For Disorderly Conduct?
Disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor in Tennessee and is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine. For funeral-related charges, you can face a Class B misdemeanor charge and up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
Even a misdemeanor on your record can cause many problems, so you want to avoid a conviction whenever possible.
Defenses For Disorderly Conduct Charges
If you face a disorderly conduct charge, you might claim that you were simply engaging in horseplay and your conduct did not meet the definition under the law. Being rowdy or loud with your friends or family does not always mean it is illegal. You could show that you were having fun with your friends and there was no intent to disturb the peace.
Your attorney can review the facts of your arrest and identify all possible defenses.
Speak To A Nashville Disorderly Conduct Defense Attorney Today
Were you charged with disorderly conduct in Nashville? It is essential to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. While disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor in Tennessee, you can still receive jail time. Also, a disorderly conduct conviction will stay on your record forever. Always take any type of criminal charge seriously and seek defense help.
The criminal defense attorneys at Raybin & Weissman, P.C. can help with your disorderly conduct charge and will offer the most vigorous defense possible. Contact our attorneys today for a complimentary consultation.