Pennsylvania Disorderly Conduct Lawyer

If you have been arrested or charged with disorderly conduct in Pennsylvania, you need the help of an experienced defense attorney. James H. Bonner, Esquire, PC of Bonner Law, is experienced in defending clients who have been charged with this crime and will fight your charges too. Disorderly conduct includes disturbing public order, disturbing public peace, and endangering safety by disorderly conduct. The severity of punishments and fines depend on the circumstances surrounding the offense, but this crime can be treated more severely if it occurs near schools, daycare centers, or other venues where minors may be present.

Understanding Disorderly Conduct Laws in Pennsylvania

Disorderly conduct is any willful action that disturbs or breaks public order. What differentiates disorderly conduct from other offenses, however, is that it doesn’t require an assault to occur; it’s simply an action that arouses alarm in others (either because of its content or because of how loud it is). The charge is minor and usually results only in a fine but can come with jail time if you’ve committed a second offense within two years. It’s important to know your rights when accused of disorderly conduct and what steps you should take next. A lawyer can help defend your legal rights as well as help prevent further negative consequences down the road. When charged with something that could lead to prison time, don’t wait: contact an experienced Pennsylvania defense attorney immediately.

What Does Disorderly Conduct Mean?

The term disorderly conduct is often used when describing criminal behavior and can lead to legal charges. In simple terms, disorderly conduct refers to disruptive behavior that leads to public unrest or disorder. The charge may also be filed against someone who interferes with another person’s right to public passage or other public privileges. Although it’s not as serious as other offenses, such as assault or vandalism, disorderly conduct is a crime and can be punishable by fines or imprisonment. When you’re charged with disorderly conduct you may want to speak with an attorney who specializes in defending people facing similar charges.

How Much Is a Disorderly Conduct Fine in Pennsylvania? 

If you’re convicted of disorderly conduct you may be required to pay an administrative fine that ranges from $50 to $300. For every subsequent conviction for disorderly conduct within 12 months of your first conviction, you may face fines up to $500 each. Any such fines are separate from other potential penalties associated with your conviction and are typically imposed on top of any penalties that were ordered by a judge at sentencing (for example, probation or jail time). The maximum term of imprisonment for disorderly conduct is 90 days, but not everyone will be sent to jail for committing such an offense. In fact, it’s more likely that you will only face fines and probation than incarceration if found guilty.

How Long Does a Disorderly Conduct Charge Stay on Your Record in PA?

If you’re a Pennsylvania resident who has been charged with disorderly conduct, you may be concerned about how long it will stay on your record. That’s understandable as you don’t want to deal with something like a criminal charge hanging over your head for years to come. The good news is that a disorderly conduct offense has an expiration date. After five years have passed, your record is spun off, and expunged from public access. If you have any questions about these charges or how they affect your record, be sure to consult an experienced PA disorderly conduct lawyer today.

What is Considered Disorderly Conduct in Pennsylvania?

There are two elements to disorderly conduct. The first element is that someone must intentionally or recklessly disturb another person with their actions. This means that behavior must be something more than just rude or offensive, but not necessarily violent or threatening. The second element is that, when disturbed, one of those people must be either in fear of violence or in fear of damage to property (18 Pa.C.S. § 5503). At times there can be some confusion over what disturb means. It doesn’t have to mean causing a physical disruption—although that’s also part of it—but it does mean annoying. In general, if you’re doing something and annoying other people by it, you’re probably guilty of disorderly conduct under Pennsylvania law (18 Pa.C.S. § 5511).

The common-law offense known as breach of peace is based on an actual disturbance, such as a loud argument at an apartment complex that causes neighbors to complain. Or tossing firecrackers from your car window at pedestrians. Such obvious disturbances could result in an arrest for breach of peace even without any additional charges for disturbing others.

How To Beat a Disorderly Conduct Charge in PA?

If you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct, it’s important to understand that not all disorderly conduct charges are made equal. Some of these charges may be more serious than others and some come with more serious consequences if you’re convicted. For example, disorderly conduct is an offense that generally comes with fines and/or jail time but is considered a misdemeanor. Disorderly conduct can also be classified as harassment or disorderly conduct at school. These offenses can carry much heavier penalties than general disorderly conduct because they are felonies, which means you could face steep fines and even prison if you’re convicted.

Hire an Experienced PA Defense Attorney for Disorderly Conduct Charges 

One of the most important decisions that you’ll need to make after being arrested for disorderly conduct is whether or not to hire an attorney. If your case goes before a judge on multiple occasions, hiring a lawyer could prevent minor issues from escalating into big problems (i.e., fines instead of jail time). A skilled defense lawyer can work towards building your case and potentially reducing penalties during your trial phase. There are many ways in which an experienced defense attorney may be able to assist those facing these types of charges; it all depends on specific details surrounding your arrest and subsequent trial procedures.

Disorderly conduct is the type of charge that can quickly escalate and get out of hand. Because this kind of charge is subjective, it’s often hard to determine just how serious your case may be. That’s why you need to contact an experienced defense lawyer who is knowledgeable in Pennsylvania law. Your attorney will fight for you every step of the way and make sure you receive fair treatment from law enforcement, judges, and juries. With experienced legal representation on your side, disorderly conduct charges won’t stand in your way.

James H. Bonner Will Fight for You in Pennsylvania Courtrooms

To receive the best chance at getting a fair outcome for your disorderly conduct charge, contact James H. Bonner, Esquire, P.C, today. Bonner Law will help prove your innocence by explaining any gaps in evidence against you. James H. Bonner is here to provide you with all of your disorderly conduct charges needs. Bonner Law handles all types of disorderly conduct law violations and will advocate for you to make sure that you receive exceptional legal counsel. 

James H. Bonner has provided representation for clients throughout Pennsylvania as they face trial on their criminal offenses of disorderly conduct, harassment, and other related charges. James is available to discuss your case and will stand ready to defend you at trial if necessary. Let Bonner Law help get your life back on track and call (610) 450-4555 to schedule a consultation, today.


Office Location

1210 N. Middletown Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342



Bonner Law

Bonner Law