Almost everyone has heard of the term “disorderly conduct,” generally referring to someone who was out in public and disturbing the peace in some way. There is an innumerable amount of videos on the internet depicting people engaging in disorderly conduct, which millions of people may watch and find comical. In reality, disorderly conduct is no laughing matter, especially if you are the one facing the charges.

What is Disorderly Conduct?

Disorderly conduct is a criminal offense set out by Illinois state law 720 ILCS 5/26-1 and also by the Chicago criminal code § 8-4-010. The law is categorized under “Offenses Affecting Public Peace, Morals, and Welfare.” Other examples of offenses in the Public Peace and Welfare category include gang loitering, inciting riots, aggressive panhandling, trespassing, vandalism, interference with utility equipment, public urination, and many more. The laws both set out numerous specific activities that may be qualified as disorderly conduct, and the type of charge and potential consequences you may face depend on the exact nature of your alleged actions. Under state law, you may face charges anywhere from a business offense to a Class 3 felony. The following are examples of charges that go with certain disorderly conduct behaviors on the state level:

Charge                  Acts
Business Offense
  •         Harassment during collection activities
Class C misdemeanor
  •         Acting in an unreasonable manner that alarms or disturbs others and may cause breach of peace
Class B misdemeanor
  •         Submitting a false report to the Department of Public Health;
Class A misdemeanor
  •         Submitting false reports to public safety agencies;
  •         Looking into the dwelling of another while trespassing on their property
Class 4 felony
  •         Falsely reporting a fire;
  •         Threatening a school;
  •         Falsely reporting a criminal offense to the police;
  •         Calling 911 with a false report;
  •         Submitting false reports of child abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Family Services;
  •         Falsely requesting an ambulance
Class 3 felony
  •         Submitting a false bomb threat

Chicago city law sets out a variety of additional actions that constitute disorderly conduct, which include the following:

  •         Acting in an unreasonable manner that alarms or disturbs others and may cause breach of peace;
  •         Offensive or unreasonable gesture, utterance, display, or other act provoking violence or breach of peace;
  •         Refusing to stop any act that may breach the peace when requested to do so by police;
  •         Three or more people failing to disperse when ordered to do so by police;
  •         Three or more people assembling in order to disturb the public peace;
  •         Failing to obey emergency personnel when they are trying to address an emergency;
  •         Blocking customers from entering a business after being asked to leave;
  •         Being in public while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs to an annoying or dangerous degree;
  •         Carrying a weapon in a threatening manner; or
  •         Handing out leaflets or protesting within 50 feet of a clinic or hospital or using force or intimidation to interfere with anyone attempting to enter or exit a clinic or hospital.

Contact Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven Goldman for help today

You should never take a charge of disorderly conduct lightly in Chicago. A conviction may mean jail time or fines up to $10,000 in some circumstances. If you have been charged with any crime in Chicago, call Goldman & Associates for help as soon as possible.