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Understanding Disorderly Conduct in Wisconsin

Just as with most other states, in the state of Wisconsin, disorderly conduct can be difficult to understand. There is a great deal of gray area in the law which can be left to a subjective ruling by a judge.

However, there are general guidelines for disorderly conduct in Wisconsin. Understanding these guidelines will help you to avoid, and to fight disorderly conduct charges. 

What is Considered Disorderly Conduct?

Common Disorderly Conduct

Common disorderly conduct includes any situation in which a person is being violent, obnoxious, or inordinately loud to the point that it disturbs the public. Public nudity, domestic violence, and disobeying a police officer can all be considered disorderly conduct in certain situations.

Vagrancy

Vagrancy laws are instituted to target those who loiter or distribute illegal goods in a public forum. Everyone from the homeless, to prostitutes, to illegal street salesman can be considered vagrants. Again, who is and isn’t considered a vagrant comes with a great deal of gray area.

Consuming Alcohol in a Public Area  

Another form of disorderly conduct in Wisconsin is consuming alcohol in a public space. In the state of Wisconsin, you are only allowed to drink alcohol on private land, and in specially designated public areas. Imbibing alcohol on public transport or on the sidewalk is against the law.

Desecrating a United States Flag  

While not all desecrating of the United States flag is illegal in Wisconsin, desecrating the flag in an effort to erupt violence is considered illegal. Again, this is a matter which is subject to a great deal of gray area.

Domestic

Another form of disorderly conduct is the domestic dispute. While verbal altercations are not technically illegal, they can be considered illegal if they alarm the public in some way. For instance, if a neighbor is troubled by the screaming of his or her neighbors, disorderly conduct is technically being perpetrated.

What are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct?

Common Disorderly Conduct

While it is subject to some variation, common disorderly conduct is generally classified as a Class B Misdemeanor. This entails penalties of up to 90 days in jail, and of up to $1,000 in fines.

Vagrancy

Vagrancy is typically classed as a Class C Misdemeanor. A class C misdemeanor carries with it up to 30 days in jail, and up to $500 in fines.

Consuming Alcohol in a Public Area  

Like vagrancy, consuming alcohol in public is typically designated as a Class C Misdemeanor. This means that you could face up to 30 days in jail, and up to $500 in fines.

Desecrating a United States Flag  

If you desecrate a United States flag with the intent to cause violence and unrest, you will be subject to fairly harsh penalties. This is classed as a Class A Misdemeanor, entailing up to 9 months in jail with fines up to $10,000.

Domestic

Domestic disorderly conduct which doesn’t involve violence will typically be classed as a Class B Misdemeanor. This can result in up to 90 days in jail with fines up to $1,000.

Have You Been Charged With Disorderly Conduct in Wisconsin?

If you’re on this page, there’s a decent chance that you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct in Wisconsin. If this is the case, you’re in need of reliable legal counsel. Fortunately, you’ve found it.

We here at Hartley Pecora are the premier defense lawyers in the Milwaukee area. Our knowledge and experience dealing with disorderly conduct cases will give you the best chance possible of defending yourself in a court of law.

Contact us for a free consultation!  We are on your side.