Have you been charged with disorderly conduct? Have you been deemed a public nuisance? Well, every state, county, and city likely has its own disorderly conduct laws that typically apply to interruptions of the public peace. Sometimes, they even overlap. When you are facing disorderly conduct charges, a Greenwood Village disorderly conduct lawyer would fight back against the charges set against you.
A well-practiced criminal defense lawyer who has previous experience interacting with local law enforcement officials and prosecutors could offer you unwavering support at all stages of your case. Speak to Justie and Jenn at Colorado Lawyer Team to get started building your defense.
What Constitutes Disorderly Conduct in Colorado?
An accomplished disorderly conduct lawyer in Greenwood Village could defend clients facing a wide range of charges throughout Northeastern Colorado, including:
- Unreasonable noises in public areas or unauthorized areas near private homes
- Public displays or gestures that are considered obscene and offensive and that gesture tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace (but know that obscene gestures or words are often protected by the First Amendment, which will trump this statute)
- Discharging a firearm in a public place (certain caveats apply if the person is a peace officer, the discharged was part of a veteran’s funeral, or the firearm was lawfully issued for target practice or hunting)
- Fighting or brawling in a public area (often called “mutual fighting,” although this does not cover amateur or professional boxing/fighting matches)
- The display of a deadly weapon or verbal claim of being armed with a deadly weapon in a public place with the intent to cause alarm.
Disorderly Conduct Offenses and Penalties
Colorado law classifies several different types of offenses as disorderly conduct.
The first type of offense that falls in this category is standard disorderly conduct, which involves making an offensive or obscene utterance in public or unreasonable noise near to private homes. According to Colorado Revised Statutes §18-9-106, traditional disorderly conduct is a class 1 petty offense with possible penalties ranging from fines up to $1,000 and up to six months imprisonment.
Likewise, Colorado law also outlaws fighting in public, with violations categorized as class 3 misdemeanors. Penalties range from up to six months in jail, up to $50 in fines, or both.
If someone threatens to fire or fires a weapon in public, the offense is a class 2 misdemeanor. Penalties include a minimum of six and up to 12 months imprisonment and between $250 and $1,000 in fines.
It’s important to note that disorderly conduct offenses described here are at the state level. Meaning, these charges are brought in county court, typically. But cities and counties may have their own ordinances that would be just as applicable and carry a wide range of differing penalties from what is described here. A skilled Greenwood Village attorney can help you navigate the complicated system.
In addition to Disorderly Conduct charges under Title 18, Title 16 of the Colorado statutes provides for additional charges pertaining to “public nuisances.” Public nuisances can be class 1, 2, 3, or 4, depending on the severity and type of the alleged conduct.
Class 1 public nuisances under C.R.S. 16-13-303 includes designation of real estate and vehicles as public nuisances when used to violate the law. Most notably, you’ll find places used for prostitution, illegal gambling, illegal manufacture/sale/distribution of controlled substances on the list here. These pieces of property are subject to seizure, confiscation, and forfeiture.
Any behavior that disturbs the peace in a public place or near a residential location could qualify as a class 2 public nuisance under C.R.S. §16-13-304. In addition, actions such as gambling, serving liquor to minors and drug dealing also fall under this offense. Penalties depend on the nature of the individual’s conduct and any damages they inflict but could include imprisonment and fines.
Class 3 public nuisances are usually those involving pollution or repeatedly posing a hazard or danger to the public (including inhabitable properties). Class 4 public nuisances are situations where individuals continue to practice in a profession in which they are not licensed. These sorts of things are more likely to result in cease and desist orders than actual criminal penalties.
The Court Process for Disorderly Conduct Charges
When someone is charged with disorderly conduct, their case may go through either a municipal court or county court. Any offenses prosecuted in municipal or city court can be punished by up to one year’s imprisonment.
When a case is tried through the country courts, it will be classified as either a class 1 petty offense, class 2 misdemeanor, or class 3 misdemeanor. A disorderly conduct attorney in Greenwood Village could guide the accused through each step of the legal process fight for a fair chance to beat the charges. If there is a way to plead the case down from disorderly conduct to a public nuisance or some other sort of lesser charge, an attorney can help you with this process, too.
Let a Greenwood Village Disorderly Conduct Attorney Help
If you are charged with a disorderly conduct offense, you could potentially face serious penalties if convicted of either a misdemeanor or felony. It could be in your best interest to consult with a seasoned Greenwood Village disorderly conduct lawyer who would offer you sage legal advice and counsel. Call Jenn and Justie at Colorado Lawyer Team to schedule your initial case consultation.