Take, for example, the recent arrest of Megan Welter – a Cardinals cheerleader that was arrested after getting into a physical fight with her boyfriend. The pair had been drinking, and Welter allegedly lost her cool after learning of a conversation between her boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend. Welter was caught on camera scratching her boyfriend while screaming and mocking him. She faces charges of disorderly conduct, among other related charges.
Disorderly conduct is one of the most common offenses in the United States and is often associated with intoxication because drinking generally impairs judgment. When a person is impaired they may behave other than how they normally would. In Arizona, disorderly conduct can be charged if a person exhibits seriously disruptive behavior with the intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or if they knowingly:
1) Engage in fighting, violent or disruptive behavior
2) Make unreasonable noise
3) Use abusive or offensive language in a manner likely to provoke physical retaliation
4) Makes any protracted commotion, utterance or display with the intent to prevent the transaction of the business or a lawful meeting, gathering or procession
5) Refuses to obey a lawful order to disperse (leave the scene) to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard or other emergency
6) Recklessly handles, displays or discharges a weapon or dangerous instrument
Disorderly conduct is considered a misdemeanor so long as there are no weapons or dangerous instruments involved. However, that classification does not decrease the significance even a misdemeanor can have on your record. One of the best things you can do if you will be drinking is to maintain control of yourself, be responsible and have a designated driver. By avoiding disorderly conduct, you not only protect yourself, but those around you as well.
If you find that you are facing disorderly conduct charges, it is critical to defend against them in pursuit of the best outcome. Contact the lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod for a free initial legal consultation if you find yourself facing criminal or DUI charges. Craig W. Penrod is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, is AV® rated, the highest rating by Martindale Hubbell®, is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®, and has been selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers™ Editions 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.