Arrested for Disorderly Conduct in Los Angeles?
Understanding California Penal Code § 647
Unlike other laws in California, the disorderly conduct statute covers
a variety of seemingly unrelated and minor criminal activities. Thousands
of people are arrested in and around Los Angeles every year for disorderly
conduct offenses, giving rise to criticism about law enforcement arresting
people simply because they are being an “annoyance.” Even
though disorderly conduct is prosecuted as a
misdemeanor, a conviction could still result in a criminal record and time spent in
For this reason, you should still take these charges seriously. Due to
how broadly these laws are interpreted, it would be in your best interest
to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles review the
circumstances of your arrest and determine whether or not a crime was
actually committed. The trial attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez &
Partners have the experience it takes to look at your charges from every
angle, and will fight to get your charges reduced or even dropped if possible.
Don’t plead guilty without speaking to Stephen G. Rodriguez &
Partners first! With more than 70 years of experience,
we know what it takes to beat your charges.
Actions That Could Result in Disorderly Conduct Charges
California Penal Code § 647 describes a wide range of acts that constitute
disorderly conduct. This “catch all” crime applies to a number
of different activities, including:
- Engaging in lewd or dissolute conduct in a public place
- Engaging in prostitution or soliciting sex for money
- Loitering around private property with no lawful purpose
- Squatting, or living in a building without permission
- Being drunk or otherwise intoxicated in a public place
- Begging for money or soliciting alms in a public place
- Loitering around a public toilet to engage in lewd acts
- Peeping through the window of a private structure
Using a camera or binoculars to peep (i.e.
- Fighting or using offensive words in a public place
What are the penalties for disorderly conduct in California?
Since disorderly conduct is charged as a misdemeanor offense in California,
a conviction could land you in county jail for 180 days or longer. You
may also be fined up to $1,000. If you are convicted of a second or subsequent
disorderly conduct offense, you will face enhanced sentencing—which
may include imprisonment in county jail for up to one year and $2,000
in fines. Similarly, if the victim of your crime was a minor at the time
of the offense, you could be sentenced to jail for one year and fined $2,000.
Criminal Offenses Treated as “Disorderly Conduct”
Although some crimes are not specifically listed under the disorderly conduct
statute, they may be treated as such in regard to prosecution and sentencing.
For example, the crime of participating in a riot (Cal. Penal Code §
404) carries penalties similar to disorderly conduct. This offense involves
using or threatening to use unlawful force in a public place, and carries
a potential penalty of up to six months in county jail and $1,000 in fines.
Disturbing the peace (Cal. Penal Code § 415) and refusing to disperse (Cal. Penal Code
§ 404) are also treated like disorderly conduct offenses.
Put a Hard-Hitting Criminal Defense Firm on Your Side
If you were recently arrested for disorderly conduct in Los Angeles, CA,
we encourage you to reach out to a criminal defense attorney at Stephen
G. Rodriguez & Partners for a free consultation. With more than seven
decades of collective legal experience, our lawyers have developed formidable
negotiation skills. We can raise all of the reasons why you should face
minimal penalties or fight to have your charges dropped entirely, so don’t
wait to get the aggressive legal advocacy that you will need.
Contact the Los Angeles criminal lawyers at our firm today for a
free case evaluation.