Disorderly conduct is a minor criminal offense in Colorado. Under state law, there are a wide variety of actions that can qualify as disorderly conduct. This offense is considered a ‘catch-all' type offense that you can be charged with if you are found to be disturbing the peace, fighting, or otherwise acting recklessly.
- 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 has no right to occupy
- Fight with another in a public place except in an amateur or professional contest of athletic skill
- Not being a peace officer, 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
- Not being 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 or she is armed with a deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm"1
Under Colorado law, the penalty / punishment / jail time that you can face if you are convicted of disorderly conduct 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 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 depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
For example, if you were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct while protesting, you may be able to raise a defense that you were exercising your First Amendment rights.
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
Though disorderly conduct is not typically considered a serious crime, a conviction for this offense can still have a significant impact on your life.
We know that sometimes people do things in the heat of the moment that is out of character. Our Colorado criminal defense attorneys will use our decades of experience to fight for you.
If you have been charged or someone you know has been charged with disorderly conduct, contact our office today for a free consultation. We invite you to call our Colorado office or fill out the contact form.
Arrested in Nevada? See our article on Nevada breach of peace laws.
- C.R.S. 18-9-106
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-503
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-501