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What is disorderly conduct?

Posted on January 11, 2021

You have probably heard of the term “disorderly conduct,” but do you know how the law applies to it in Colorado? 

Disorderly conduct covers a variety of behaviors and can result in either petty offense or misdemeanor charges. 

The definition of disorderly conduct

According to FindLaw, disorderly conduct applies to situations where someone breaches the peace either deliberately, consciously or recklessly. The following are examples of disorderly conduct: 

  • Making lewd gestures, sounds or displays in public to deliberately make someone feel uneasy 
  • Making so much noise that it disturbs those around you in public or private places 
  • Displaying or discharging a weapon in public when you are not a peace officer  
  • Using words or things to make people believe you have a deadly weapon 

The consequences of disorderly conduct

If you are facing charges for disorderly conduct, you may be interested in what the legal penalties are for your actions. It depends on what type of infraction you commit. 

Both making unreasonable noise and offensive behavior are a class 1 petty offense. You may see no more than $500 in fines or six months of jail time. If this conduct occurs because you are trying to interfere with funeral proceedings, however, it becomes a class 2 misdemeanor. On par with discharging a gun or displaying a deadly weapon, this means both your jail time and your fines can easily double. 

Disorderly conduct charges in connection with fighting may put you behind bars for up to six months and earn you a $750 fine. 

While you may consider some of these behaviors as “goofing off,” charges for disorderly conduct may result in unintended fines and jail time.