Disorderly Conduct: Va. Code § 18.2-415

What is Disorderly Conduct?

Va. Code § 18.2-415 defines Disorderly Conduct as some who:

“with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:

A. In any street, highway, public building, or while in or on a public conveyance, or public place engages in conduct having a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person or persons at whom, individually, such conduct is directed; or

B. Willfully or being intoxicated, whether willfully or not, and whether such intoxication results from self-administered alcohol or other drug of whatever nature, disrupts any funeral, memorial service, or meeting of the governing body of any political subdivision of this Commonwealth or a division or agency thereof, or of any school, literary society or place of religious worship, if the disruption (i) prevents or interferes with the orderly conduct of the funeral, memorial service, or meeting or (ii) has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person or persons at whom, individually, the disruption is directed; or

C. Willfully or while intoxicated, whether willfully or not, and whether such intoxication results from self-administered alcohol or other drug of whatever nature, disrupts the operation of any school or any activity conducted or sponsored by any school, if the disruption (i) prevents or interferes with the orderly conduct of the operation or activity or (ii) has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person or persons at whom, individually, the disruption is directed.

Disorderly Conduct can occur anywhere in public, and specifically at schools, funerals, memorials, government meetings or religious events and services.

How is Disorderly Conduct Punished?

Disorderly Conduct is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, the most ‘serious’ level of misdemeanor charge. This can carry possible jail time up to one year, and a fine of up to $2,500. The stature further authorizes municipalities to codify a similar ordinance, which may carry punishments no more serious than those of a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Should I get an Attorney?

Very much so. A Class 1 Misdemeanor is serious. A conviction cannot be expunged in any circumstance, and so this charge will not disappear from your record. This can have adverse affects in employment in other areas. Contact our attorneys Farheena Siddiqui and Brian Szmak to discuss your options if you have been charged with Disorderly Conduct.