Virtual and Phone consultations available in all cases.

Avvo Rating
State Bar of California
Featured in huffpost Live
Best Attorney
Top Rated Lawyer
Greater Irvine Chamber
Iranian American Chamber of Commerce
2022 Winner Woman-Owned Small Business Award
Winner 2022 Woman-Owned Small Business Award
The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
America's Top 50 Lawyers 2023

Disorderly Conduct

The crime of disorderly conduct is also known as ‘disturbing the peace’. It’s governed by California penal code, section 647. Disorderly conduct is a crime that involves public activity or behavior that’s offensive or disruptive, and interrupts other people’s ability to enjoy a public space. According to law enforcement, most disorderly conduct arrests often involve an element of alcohol or drugs.

Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offence punishable by 6 months in jail, a maximum of $1000 in fines or both. If you are convicted of repeated disorderly conduct charges, the penalties could increase.

Offenses classified as disorderly conduct

The following is conduct that’s classified as disorderly under California PC 647:

  1. Improper sexual conduct such as:
    • Engaging in or soliciting another person to engage in lewd or immoral behavior in a public place or a place that’s exposed to the public.
    • Engaging in prostitution or soliciting for acts of prostitution.
    • Waylaying a person in public or a location open to public view in order to beg or solicit for money or donations.
    • Loitering in or near a public toilet with the aim of engaging in lewd acts or in order to solicit for lewd and unlawful acts.
    • Invading another person’s privacy such as peeping or recording them in a bathroom or dressing room in order to get sexual gratification.
  2. Unlawful lodging or loitering

    Lodging in a private or public building, place or structure without the owner’s permission.

  3. Drunk and disorderly behavior

    Being in public under the intoxication of alcohol, drugs and controlled substances or a combination of drugs and alcohol, to a point where one is unable to exercise care for self and others or if as a result of this intoxication, one obstructs others from using public spaces.

  4. Fighting, general noisiness and using offensive words

    Fighting in public or challenging someone to a fight in public is a crime in California. Making unreasonably loud noise to intentionally disturb others and using offensive words in a public space, particularly when those words could provoke violence is also a crime.

  5. Rioting

    Rioting is a misdemeanor offence that involves the use of unlawful force in public. Rioting is governed by California penal code section 404. The charges for rioting are also $1000 in fines or 6 months of jail time or both. You can also be held responsible in civil court for financial losses resulting from your personal conduct and any damage that you cause during a riot.

  6. Disturbing the peace on a school campus

    Under PC 415, if you are non-student, it’s a crime for you to fight, be unreasonably loud or to use offensive language while on campus property. Charges for this misdemeanor include a maximum of $400 in fines, a maximum of 90 days of jail time or both. Penalties will increase if you are charged with the same offense repeatedly.

  7. Refusing to disperse

    When two or more people who’ve assembled to disturb the peace fail to comply with an order to disperse, this is classified as disorderly conduct. Refusing to disperse is a misdemeanor crime for which penalties are restitution (that is, paying for any damages caused) and community service. (Cal. Penal Code section 404.)

Disorderly Conduct charges may not seem very serious because they are misdemeanors. However, penalties for prior convictions could potentially get heavier depending on your circumstances. Contact our Irvine defense lawyer now for a consultation.

Client Reviews
The Johnson Law Group handled a very important and delicate matter with professionalism and a caring manner. Attorneys were knowledgeable, in communications, and provided a top notch service to my need. I highly recommend the Johnson Law Group for your important legal issues. Hardy Jr.
Lauren Johnson-Norris was amazing. She explained everything in ways that were easily understood, & answered all of my question. She was respectful, but also open & honest. She started work on my case the first day we met & got results quickly. She demonstrated passion, concern, and showed true feeling for my situation. My expectations were greatly exceeded. I would say she has an incredible attention for detail, & has a real dedication to her work. Lauren Johnson-Norris would be my first recommendation to any of my family or friends similarly in need of legal assistance. Heather
I researched a lot of attorneys and had met with two attorneys before speaking with Ms. Johnson-Norris and retaining her. I was facing serious charges that could not be on my record, due to my job and was really scared. I felt hopeless & thought my life was ruined...until I found Ms. Johnson-Norris… A criminal defense client (drug case)
She is on point. She knows her field well. I have to give credit where credit is due, you deserve it Lauren Johnson-Norris… Anonymous, Victim of Domestic Violence
Lauren Johnson-Norris was my saving grace. I naively thought you were innocent until proven guilty. However, I soon discovered that CPS and family court does not see things that way… Mrs. G, a CPS client