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Disorderly Conduct


Under Utah Code § 76-9-102(1), the criminal offense of disorderly conduct is a class C misdemeanor if the offense continues after a request by a person to desist. If the conduct does not continue after a request to desist, then the offense of disorderly conduct can only be charged as an infraction.

Many people associate an allegation of “disorderly conduct” with public intoxication (sometimes called “drunk and disorderly”).The statute, however, more broadly defines the crime to include a much wider set of behaviors that another person might find offensive when committed in a public place.

Salt Lake City Disorderly Conduct Defense Lawyer

If you were charged with disorderly conduct, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Darren Levitt aggressively fights criminal charges of disorderly conduct throughout the Salt Lake City-Ogden metropolitan area, which includes Salt Lake County, Davis County, and Weber County, Utah.

Elements of Utah’s Disorderly Conduct Statute

The criminal offense of disorderly conduct is considered an offense against public order and decency. Under Utah Code § 76-9-102(1), the crime of disorderly conduct can be charged if a person is alleged to have:

    a) refused to comply with the lawful order of the police to move from a public place, or knowingly created a hazardous or physically offensive condition, by any act which serves no legitimate purpose; or
    (b) intended to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, and:

    • (i) engaged in fighting or in violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior;
    • (ii) maked unreasonable noises in a public place;
    • (iii) maked unreasonable noises in a private place which can be heard in a public place; or
    • (iv) obstructed vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

Under Utah’s disorderly conduct statute the term “public place” is defined as “any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes but is not limited to streets, highways, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops.”

Disorderly Conduct under the Definition of Domestic Violence

Because charges of domestic violence are often reduced to disorderly conduct, the Utah legislature has purposed defining the term “domestic violence” under Section 77-36-1, in a way that still includes charges of disorderly conduct for certain purposes when the conviction is the “result of a plea agreement in which the defendant was originally charged with any of the domestic violence offenses…”

The purposed legislation recognizes that a conviction of disorderly conduct as a domestic violence offense does not constitute a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under 18 U.S.C. Section 921, and is exempt from the provisions of the federal Firearms Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 921 et seq.

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(801) 828-2732