Have you been charged with disorderly conduct anywhere in Indiana? If so, you may be able to improve the outcome of your case by consulting with the experienced Indiana disorderly conduct defense attorneys at The Criminal Defense Team.
This is the “disorderly” of “drunk and disorderly.” It is typically charged when police become involved and see a fight, somebody making “unreasonable noise” or someone disrupting a lawful assembly of people. The crime is typically a class B misdemeanor. But be accused of this crime at an airport (even in an airport parking area) or within 500 feet of a funeral or memorial service – you’re facing a Level 6 felony.
What if you were at a protest rally or on a college campus, exercising your First Amendment right to free speech? Or perhaps you were arrested after joining a rather raucous celebration in your neighborhood to acknowledge a major sports victory? Under Indiana law, and further affirmed by the Indiana Supreme Court, you could face disorderly conduct charges for fighting with others in your own home.
The facts of a case like this are critical; so is a thorough investigation of those facts. Talking to witnesses (quickly); finding video, if available; applying the law to these facts; challenging police officers on the stand. These are the tasks that need to be accomplished well to give you your best shot at a great result in this situation. The Criminal Defense Team has the legal expertise for that assignment.
Given the discretion that Indiana law enforcement officers appear to have when making disorderly conduct arrests, you need to be able to fight back with experienced Indiana disorderly conduct defense attorneys on your team. Start your legal fight for your rights by contacting The Criminal Defense Team at (317) 687-8326 and ask for a free consultation to review the specifics of your case.
Why Hire The Criminal Defense Team to Handle Your Indiana Disorderly Conduct Case
As an individual charged with a crime in Indiana, you have rights. Police officers are authority figures and often exercise significant discretion when deciding to make an arrest and charge someone for disorderly conduct.
In some cases, such as with public drunkenness, the charge and arrest are fairly common, and the underlying facts can be obvious. In other cases, however, the situation can be ambiguous. This is particularly true in large gatherings, like rallies or celebrations, where police encounter a lot of chaos and identities can easily become confused. In some cases, if the conduct disrupts the ability of businesses in the area to conduct normal operations, law enforcement may encounter additional pressure to make an arrest.
If your arrest occurred in a large crowd, you may have even been trying to protect or defend yourself from others who actually were behaving in a disorderly fashion. Yet, the police may make several arrests without investigating who is actually responsible, often in an effort to impose some order and control over a crowd. Even if you were caught up in the moment, if law enforcement views your attitude or actions as defiant to them, it can be enough for them to arrest you for disorderly conduct.
The situation becomes even more hazy in other public places, such as airports. If you are demonstrating or thinking you are exercising your right to free speech in the airport parking lot, a disorderly conduct charge can rise from a misdemeanor to a felony. That elevated charge can change your life forever, with devastating consequences.
If you are convicted of a felony, that conviction follows you, even if you don’t serve jail time. You could lose your job and find it difficult or impossible to gain new employment. If you are in a profession that requires a professional license from the state, such as nursing, plumbing, or massage therapy, your felony conviction can make it impossible for you to get or renew such a license. You may find it difficult to rent a home or apartment.
Add to this the fact that the police and prosecution have something else in their favor, even if the charges are unfair or unfounded. They have a well-funded prosecutorial and investigative team at their disposal. If they feel they have enough to warrant a disorderly conduct conviction, they will pursue it aggressively.
That is why you need to be similarly prepared with an experienced and highly qualified Indiana disorderly conduct legal team. At The Criminal Defense Team, we have five Board Certified Criminal Law Specialists at your disposal. That means there is only one more of these board-certified specialists in the entire state of Indiana who doesn’t work at our firm. We also have former prosecutors on our team who understand prosecution tactics.
If you have been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in Indiana, don’t wait until you are ordered to appear before a judge to get a lawyer. The earlier you contact the attorneys at The Criminal Defense Team, the better your recollection will be of the events that led to your arrest. We also have the experience to conduct our own investigations and know what records to ask for. We can review security footage, hunt down witness statements, and get copies of arrest records.
Meanwhile, you are still trying to live your personal and professional life with this hanging over your head. You don’t have the time to try and conduct an investigation that competes with the resources of the prosecuting team. That’s what we’re here for, and we want to help. Give us a call at (317) 687-8326 today.
How Can the Prosecution Prove Disorderly Conduct in Indiana?
According to the Indiana Code, in order to successfully prosecute a Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, the prosecuting attorneys must prove that you “recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally:”
- Engaged in “fighting or tumultuous conduct”
- Made “unreasonable noise” and didn’t stop when asked
- Disrupted “a lawful assembly of persons”
Under Indiana law, the maximum penalty for a Class B misdemeanor is 180 days in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000. Even though it’s a misdemeanor, for many people, six months in jail can mean losing their job, their home, and their entire livelihoods.
If the prosecution can prove that you were guilty of disorderly conduct in other specific circumstances and locations, you are facing a Level 6 felony conviction. These include any activity that “adversely affects airport security” or that “is committed in an airport, or on the premises of an airport, including in a parking area, a maintenance bay, or an aircraft hangar.”
The Level 6 felony elevation also applies to the same conduct that occurs near a burial or where burial and funeral activities are taking place, such as viewings, processions, and memorials. However, as the accused, you have to have been aware that these activities were occurring for the charges to stick.
If you are found guilty of a Level 6 felony, you could be facing as much as 2-1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In some cases, the judge can downgrade the charge to a Class A misdemeanor and lower the sentence.
An experienced Indiana disorderly conduct attorney can also try to get the downgrade from a felony to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement if they consider that to be the best outcome in your case given your particular circumstances. This may give you a chance of getting probation rather than serving time in jail.
We can also help you petition the court to downgrade the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor after you serve your sentence so that you don’t have a felony conviction following you for the rest of your life. In some cases, we may even be able to get the entire charge expunged from your record, giving you a clean slate in the public eye.
With so many variables in both the alleged “evidence” of the charges and the possible outcomes, it’s critically important that you seek the help of an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney. Don’t gamble on getting the best possible outcome on your own. Let the highly competent team at The Criminal Defense Team take command of your Indiana disorderly conduct charge, so you can take command of your life again.
What You Should Do if You Are Arrested for Disorderly Conduct
To be arrested for disorderly conduct in Indiana, law enforcement must see you commit what they, in their professional experience, consider to be disorderly conduct. The line between disorderly conduct and free speech can be a gray one. The personalities and past experiences of law enforcement officers can also come into play.
It’s simply wrong if your conduct was incorrectly deemed to be disorderly due to an identity mix-up, a pre-conceived idea, or an officer having a bad day. Nonetheless, it can happen. If you are arrested, do not resist, and do not say anything. You may be tempted to explain or deny that you were being disorderly, but the best way to help yourself is to remain quiet until you can speak to a qualified Indiana disorderly conduct attorney. You don’t want to risk saying anything that could possibly jeopardize your case.
Do not revoke your rights by talking or agreeing to sign a waiver of those rights. Assert your right to remain silent and ask for an attorney. Then give The Criminal Defense Team a call at (317) 687-8326.
Don’t Wait Any Longer – Call Us Today
No one can understand the stress of being arrested and charged with a crime until they have gone through it. At The Criminal Defense Team, we understand that stress and dedicate our lives to being strong advocates for those facing criminal charges in Indiana. No criminal case is minor, particularly when you are the one experiencing it. Stress can affect both your mental and physical health and can negatively impact your relationships.
Let the experienced Indiana disorderly conduct attorneys at The Criminal Defense Team help you find the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t continue to go through this challenging time alone. If you have been arrested on an Indiana disorderly conduct charge, call (317) 687-8326 today for your risk-free consultation.