CRS 18-9-106 is the Colorado statute that defines the crime of disorderly conduct. This section makes it a crime to breach the peace, cause a disturbance, fight in public, discharge a firearm or display a deadly weapon. Disorderly conduct can lead to misdemeanor or petty offense charges.
In this article, our Denver Colorado criminal defense lawyers will discuss:
- 1. What Is Disorderly Conduct?
- 2. What Is The Penalty For A Disorderly Conduct Conviction?
- 3. Are There Any Defenses I Can Raise?
Disorderly conduct is addressed in the Colorado Revised Statutes, section 18-9-106. In order to commit this offense an individual must “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” do any of the following:
- Make a coarse and obviously offensive utterance, gesture, or display in a public place that . . . tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace
- Make unreasonable noise in a public place or near a private residence that he/she has no right to occupy
- Fight with another in a public place except in an amateur or professional contest of athletic skill
- Discharge a firearm in a public place
- Discharge a firearm in a public place except when engaged in lawful target practice or hunting or the ritual discharge of blank ammunition cartridges as an attendee at a funeral for a deceased person who was a veteran of the armed forces of the United States (and the defendant is not a peace officer)
- Display a deadly weapon, display any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon, or represent verbally or otherwise that he/she is armed with a deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm (and the defendant is not a peace officer)1
Under Colorado law, the penalty / punishment / jail time that you can face if you are convicted of breach of public peace varies depending on the conduct that led to the conviction.
If you are charged with a Class 1 Petty Offense in Colorado, you can be punished2 by:
- A fine up to $500, and/or,
- Up to 6 months in jail
If you charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor in Colorado3, the penalty for this criminal offense includes:
- A fine ranging from $50 up to $750, and/or,
- Up to 6 months in jail
If you are charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado4, the penalty may include:
- A fine ranging from $250 up to $1,000, and/or,
- A jail sentence ranging from 3 months to 12 months
Yes, there may be a defense available to Colorado disorderly conduct charges depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
For example, if you were arrested and are facing criminal charges of disorderly conduct while protesting, you may be able to raise a defense that you were exercising your First Amendment rights.
Alternately, maybe the police officer overreacted to the situation and arrested you on false grounds. If there were large crowds, law enforcement may have mistakenly arrested you, mistaking you for the real culprit. And if you resisted, you may be facing resisting arrest charges as well.
Another instance where you may be able to raise a valid defense is if you were defending yourself and were subsequently arrested for fighting. If you were only in the fight to begin with so as to defend yourself from harm, you can claim your actions were justified under Colorado’s self-defense laws.
Call Us For Help
If you have been charged or someone you know has been charged, contact our law firm today for a free consultation and legal advice. We invite you to call our Colorado criminal defense attorneys or fill out the contact form. We can meet at our law office or speak over the phone to discuss creating an attorney-client relationship.
Our office is based in Denver, but we serve clients throughout the states, including Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.
Arrested in Nevada? See our article on Nevada breach of peace laws.
- C.R.S. 18-9-106; People in Interest of R.C., 411 P.3d 1105 (COA 2016); Brandt v. City of Westminster, 300 F. Supp. 3d 1259 (D. Colo. 2018); Hansen v. People, 190 Colo. 457, 548 P.2d 1278 (1976).
- CRS 18-1.3-503.
- CRS 18-1.3-501.