Disorderly Conduct In WI | Criminal Lawyer WI
A Beginner’s Guide To Disorderly Conduct In Wisconsin
Disorderly conduct is one of the most common charges in the State of Wisconsin where it is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. The crime is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Defining Disorderly Conduct
One reason why these cases are so prevalent in the state is because it’s relatively easy to bring the charge against someone. The crime has a very broad definition. In essence, behaving in any way that results in a disturbance can bring a charge. State statute defines disorderly conduct as:
“Whoever, in a public or private place, engages in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under circumstances in which the conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.”
FAQs On Disorderly Conduct In Wisconsin
To help you understand disorderly conduct charges in Wisconsin better, we’ve assembled some of the top questions we receive about the charge.
- Can I Be Charged Even If I Didn’t Disturb Anyone? Legally, yes, you can be charged even if no one complained. All that is required under state statute is that the behavior is one that tends to provoke a disturbance. You don’t actually have to disturb anyone to be charged.
- Can Speech Alone Lead To A Charge? This is a tricky question to answer because it gets at our freedom of speech protections under the U.S. Constitution and laws under the Wisconsin criminal code, which could conflict. In general, charges can be applied to speech alone under certain circumstances. In State v. Day 243 Wis.2d 173 (2001), the court ruled that speech alone could lead to charges when it was not an essential part of “any exposition of ideas, when it is utterly devoid in social value and when it can cause or provoke a disturbance…” In other words, if there is no purpose to the speech other than to cause a disturbance, you can be charged. Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is one such example.
- What Happens If I Am Arrested For Disorderly Conduct? If you are arrested for a domestic dispute, then you will likely be taken to jail. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you will be given an opportunity to post bond and be released immediately.
- I Have Received A Citation Labeled “Wisconsin Uniform Misdemeanor Citation.” What Is That? The Wisconsin Uniform Misdemeanor Citation is much more than a ticket. It’s a criminal charge and you or your lawyer must appear in court on the scheduled date or you’ll be charged with Failure to Appear and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
- What If I Am Carrying A Gun? Can I be charged with disorderly conduct? Simply carrying a gun in not considered disorderly conduct in Wisconsin. As long as you were not intending to batter or harm someone with the weapon, you cannot be charged with disorderly conduct.
- What Does It Mean If I Receive A “No Contact” Order Related To Domestic Disorderly Conduct? No contact orders mean you are prohibited from having contact with the other person(s) for at least 72 hours. It may also be referred to as a “72 Hour No Contact Provision.” Making contact with the named person during that time can lead to new criminal charges.
Hire A Criminal Lawyer In Madison, WI To Fight Charges
Whenever you have been charged with a crime, it’s best to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you have been given a no contact order and cannot go home because of it, a criminal lawyer in Madison, WI can argue against the charge at your initial appearance so you can go home sooner. Even if you don’t have a no-contact order to fight, a WI criminal defense attorney can help you understand your situation and guide you through the process.
At Eisenberg Law Offices, we tell clients what they can expect in court and in the days leading up to their appearances and help protect our clients’ rights by securing the best possible outcome under the circumstances.