Hartley Pecora Law News


What are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Wisconsin?

Disorderly conduct is an offense which is judged on a fairly arbitrary basis. While one person may consider a particular action to be disorderly conduct, another person may not. Because of this, fortunately, it’s a charge that can be fairly successfully fought in court.

Have you been charged with disorderly conduct in Wisconsin? Trying to understand what you’re up against? Below, we will describe not only what constitutes disorderly conduct in the State of Wisconsin, but what the potential penalties are for various offenses.

What Constitutes Disorderly Conduct in Wisconsin?

To put it simply, disorderly conduct involves any action which causes a public disturbance. Screaming loudly, engaging in harassment, and generally causing a scene are considered to be disorderly conduct.

In the State of Wisconsin, disorderly conduct is typically broken down into four categories: causing a disturbance, vagrancy, consuming alcohol in a public area, and damaging the US flag.

Causing a Disturbance

The most common form of disorderly conduct is the act of causing a disturbance. Acts which fit this bill include screaming profanity, engaging in violence, disobeying a police officer, and presenting yourself in the nude.

Penalties: The act of causing a disturbance can be punished in a number of different ways. However, in most cases, the act is punished by a Class B Misdemeanor. This can result in the guilty party paying up to $1,000 in fines and spending up to 90 days in jail.


Vagrancy is the act of wandering from place to place without a set destination. In the state of Wisconsin, this act is considered to be disorderly conduct. Those who are seen as vagrants in the eyes of the law are prostitutes, the homeless, and unlicensed vendors, to name just a few.

Penalties: The typical penalty for vagrancy in Wisconsin is a Class C Misdemeanor. Those who are guilty of the crime can be punished with up to 30 days in jail, and with fines of up to $500.

Consuming Alcohol in Public Areas

Another form of disorderly conduct is consuming alcohol in undesignated public areas. In Wisconsin, you are only allowed to imbibe alcohol on private property, and on public land which has been specially designated for alcohol consumption.

Penalties: As with vagrancy, this offense is punishable by a Class C Misdemeanor. This can land you with fines of up to $500, and jail time of up to 30 days. However, if you’re acting recklessly in public while under the influence of alcohol, additional penalties can be tacked on.

Damaging the US Flag

While damaging the United States flag is not a crime in and of itself, it is considered a crime if it results in some sort of social disorder. For instance, if the action of your burning the flag resulted in a riot starting, you would be held responsible.

Penalties: In the State of Wisconsin, this act is taken fairly seriously. In fact, it’s considered a Class A Misdemeanor. A Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by up to $10,000 in fines, and by up to 90 days in jail. 

Fighting Disorderly Conduct in Wisconsin?

Are you fighting a disorderly conduct charge in Wisconsin? If so, you’d be well-served by hiring an experienced defense attorney. Looking for such a defense attorney? We here at Hartley Pecora are ready to help.

We’ve defended clients in a bevy of different disorderly conduct cases and have gotten our clients reduced sentences in a number of these cases. It would be our joy to do the same for you.

Contact us 24/7 to ensure you have proper legal representation.