Washington’s criminal laws say that you are guilty of disorderly conduct if you intentionally engage in disruptive behavior in some situations. Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense that can lead to months in county jail. Please speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you are facing any type of misdemeanor charge.
What is Washington’s Law on Disorderly Conduct?
RCW 9A.84.030 is the Washington statute that defines the crime of disorderly conduct. You generally commit this offense if you:
- Use abusive language and thereby intentionally creates a risk of assault,
- Intentionally disrupt any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority, or
- Intentionally obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic without lawful authority.
You also commit the offense if you intentionally engage in fighting or in tumultuous conduct or make unreasonable noise within five hundred feet of:
- The location where a funeral or burial is being performed,
- A funeral home during the viewing of a deceased person,
- A funeral procession, or
- A building in which a funeral or memorial service is being conducted.
What are the Penalties?
Disorderly conduct is charged as a misdemeanor offense under Washington law. A conviction of the crime is punishable by:
- Imprisonment for up to 90 days in jail, and/or
- A maximum fine of $1,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. You have the right to challenge a disorderly conduct charge with a legal defense. A common defense is to show that your actions were not intentional. Recall that you are only guilty of disorderly conduct if you intentionally used abusive language or took some disruptive act. This means you are not guilty of a crime if you accidently used abusive language or disrupted something.
You can also contest a charge by showing that an emergency necessitated you to commit the offense. Consider, for example, the scenario where you disrupted traffic after driving a vehicle in a fast and erratic manner. If you drove as such because of an emergency situation, you will likely not be charged with a crime.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a disorderly conduct charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on various misdemeanor charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!