How to Deal with Disorderly Conduct Charges in Pittsburgh | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC

Call (412) 281-2146 today

How to Deal with Disorderly Conduct Charges in Pittsburgh

Even though disorderly conduct is often charged as a summary offense in PA, which is the least serious of crimes, you can still face jail and other negative consequences if convicted. The penalties are even tougher if you are facing a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.

It is vital that you take disorderly conduct charges seriously by getting experienced legal help. An attorney will help you understand the situation and may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

Disorderly Conduct in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law, you can be charged with disorderly conduct for doing any of the following in a public place:

  • Fighting, making threats, or behaving violently or tumultuously
  • Making unreasonable noise
  • Using obscene language or gestures
  • Creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition that serves no legitimate purpose

Levels of Disorderly Conduct

There are three general categories of criminal charges in Pennsylvania. They are summary, misdemeanor, and felony, which is the most serious. Disorderly conduct is often a summary offense, but in cases where a person intended to “cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience” or persists in the annoying or reckless behavior after being asked to stop, the charge could become a third-degree misdemeanor.

H2: Disorderly Conduct Charges in PA

You may be arrested and taken to the local jail, depending on the nature of your disorderly conduct offense. You will be apprised of a hearing you must attend to learn your charges.

You may only receive a ticket for minor violations and be ordered to pay the fine. But the charges and penalties you will face depend upon the individual details of your alleged crime.

Disorderly Conduct Penalties

The penalty for a summary charge of disorderly conduct includes up to 90 days in jail. You may also pay a fine from $25 to $1,500.

Whether you get jail time and how much you may pay depends on all the circumstances. Penalties for third-degree misdemeanors include up to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $2,500.

Long-Term Impact of Disorderly Conduct

Even a summary offense of disorderly conduct will appear on your criminal record. This can impact you when job hunting, finding housing, or maintaining your immigration status.

If you are employed and must pass a background check for a security clearance or other aspects of your job, the conviction can haunt you. Having a conviction on your record can damage your personal and professional reputation.

Disorderly Conduct Plea Agreements

There are situations in which it makes sense to negotiate a plea with the prosecution to resolve disorderly conduct charges. This may be the case if the evidence against you is so strong that a not guilty verdict is unlikely, but it’s your first offense, or other mitigating factors exist. A successful plea agreement can get you a reduced charge and, so, reduced penalties.

In a misdemeanor disorderly conduct case, a plea bargain could potentially reduce the charge to a summary offense. Or if you are charged with a crime such as drug possession, offering a plea bargain to reduce the charge to disorderly conduct could be a good strategy. However, there are no guarantees that plea bargains will be accepted. Your attorney can advise you whether it makes sense for your case, and if so, seek to negotiate the plea with prosecutors.

Disorderly Conduct Expungement in Pennsylvania

As already mentioned, a conviction can follow you for life. But the good news is you may be able to have your disorderly conduct conviction removed from your record. This is called an expungement.

Criteria for Expungement

Following are situations in which your record may be eligible for expungement:

  • It has been five years since you were convicted of a summary offense, and you haven’t been arrested again.
  • It has been 10 years since your conviction on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, you are at least 70 years old and are arrest-free.
  • Your charges were dropped, or you were found not guilty.
  • You were a minor at the time and have since turned 18 years old, or five years have passed with no additional offenses.

PA Expungement Process

You must petition the court to have your record expunged. Typically, you would do this at the court where your criminal proceedings took place. You will fill out the expungement forms by providing information about when, where, and why you were arrested and what police agency arrested you.

An attorney can assist you with the process by ensuring no errors are made that could hold up the process and that all necessary information is included.

Responding to Disorderly Conduct Charges

When arrested for disorderly conduct in Pittsburgh, cooperate with police but seek legal representation. A lack of cooperation can change your charge from a summary offense to a more serious misdemeanor. However, do not confess to law enforcement officers or engage them in unnecessary conversation.

Do not post about the situation on social media or discuss what happened with family and friends. Prosecutors may use whatever you say to build the case against you.

Hire A Defense Attorney for Disorderly Conduct

Do not try to go it alone, especially if your charges are more serious. By hiring a criminal defense attorney, you will position yourself to get a better outcome in your case.

When interviewing attorneys in Pittsburg, ask about their specific experience and record in resolving disorderly conduct cases. By working with a lawyer who understands the intricacies of Pennsylvania law as it applies to disorderly conduct charges, you will put yourself a step ahead in getting the most satisfactory resolution.

Charged with Disorderly Conduct? Get Help from An Experienced Defense Attorney

At Worgull, Sarna & Ness, we have a track record of achieving successful results in disorderly conduct cases. We will work hard to mitigate your charges and get you the best possible outcome based on the facts of your situation.

Do not wait to reach out to us. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can build a strong defense. Schedule a free consultation with a skilled Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney by calling (412) 281-2146 or use our contact form.

Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney Review

Check out what Derek had to say about us on Avvo:

“I hired the firm not knowing what to expect, but once I talked to Mr Ness during my consultation he was professional and honest with me. He introduced me to the partner who took my case, Mr Sarna, who is hands-down and very good attorney and person. He was always there for me and always answered my questions. What was most important of all is that they deliver and give great results. If you are in a bind and need to catch a break from something unfortunate, hire this firm, they’ll help you out.”

Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐