Frequently Asked Questions about Facing “Disturbing the Peace” Charges

Being arrested and charged with a crime can be a very unnerving ordeal. All criminal charges should be taken seriously, regardless of the severity of the crime. Many individuals who have been arrested for disturbing the peace have not had an encounter with the law before and did not plan to commit this crime. Often this crime occurs while an individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Therefore, when the arrest occurs, the individual is often not thinking clearly—which can only further complicate matters. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about facing a disturbing the peace charge.

I was charged with “disorderly conduct.” What does that mean? I was told the charges would be for “disturbing the peace.”

What many people commonly refer to as the crime of “disturbing the peace” in Kansas is officially called “disorderly conduct”. Disorderly conduct as defined by Kansas Statute 21-4101, is conduct that is done with knowledge or probable cause to believe that such actions will anger, alarm or disturb other people or provoke an assault or other breach of the peace. Examples of conduct that is considered to be “disorderly conduct” include (1) participating in a brawl or fight; (2) disrupting an assembly, meeting or procession; and (3) the use of obscene, profane or offensive language or engaging in noisy conduct which would reasonably arouse anger, alarm or resentment in other people.

I was not intoxicated, how could I be charged with disorderly conduct?

Often people who are charged with disorderly conduct are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. That being said, a person does not have to be intoxicated in order to be charged with the crime of disorderly conduct.

What punishment could I face?

Disorderly conduct is considered a Class C misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor is the least serious off all of the misdemeanors, with Class A being the most serious of all misdemeanors. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by no more than one month in jail and a fine of no more than $500.00.

Do I have any defenses?

The simple answer to this question is that “it depends”. Defenses vary widely based on the unique circumstances and set of facts surrounding each individual’s case. To find out if you have any viable defenses, you need to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. In some cases, an attorney might be able to get the charges dropped.

Do I need to hire an attorney?

Any time you are faced with criminal charges, regardless of the severity of the crime, you should be represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney. Even if you think the crime is more of a “slap on the wrist”, a criminal charge of any degree gives a person a criminal record which could cause problems for them in the future. For example, students who are found guilty of a crime may have to report such crimes to any graduate programs they apply to and may also jeopardize scholarships, financial aid and even athletic opportunities. A criminal record can also impact employment opportunities. Most importantly, only an experienced criminal defense attorney can explain the charges being brought against you, advise you of your rights, help you evaluate your legal options, assert your defenses and provide you with representation both in and out of courtroom.

If you have been charged with a crime you need the representation of a seasoned Kansas criminal defense attorney. With over 35 years of experience, attorney Charles E. Whitman of the Whitman Law Offices, has helped countless individuals. Do not delay. Call us today at (785) 843-9460 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation. We can also make arrangements to visit you in jail. Our team of experienced will professionals will thoroughly review your case with you and make sure that you aware of all of your legal options.

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