Columbia Disorderly Conduct Lawyer

Pursuant to the Criminal Code, it is a misdemeanor offense in Columbia to gather in a public location while “grossly intoxicated” or while acting in a “boisterous or disorderly manner.”

Although the law does not provide a precise definition for “boisterous,” criminal courts make this finding by examining and evaluating all of the facts and circumstances available.

If you are currently facing disorderly conduct charges, you need legal representation in your corner. An experienced Columbia disorderly conduct lawyer can help you prepare a good legal defense and can represent you during all of your criminal court proceedings.

Boisterous Conduct

In order to sustain a disorderly conduct conviction, the accused must appear publicly intoxicated or must engage in boisterous conduct. Common examples of boisterous conduct include the following:

  • Using profane or obscene language while out in public or near a church or school (i.e. within hearing distance of one of those locations)
  • Using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol – and within 50 yards of a public roadway (except upon the accused’s own premises)

In order to sustain a disorderly conduct charge or conviction, the accused need not be both publicly intoxicated and acting in a boisterous manner. One or the other is sufficient to constitute the offense.

Observable by Someone Else

In order for an offense to constitute disorderly conduct in Columbia, other individuals must be able to observe the conduct out in public. If a lone police officer observes the conduct, that alone would likely be sufficient to constitute the offense.

Defenses to a Disorderly Conduct Charge

Columbia disorderly conduct charges have several potential legal defenses associated with them. In order to obtain a conviction against the accused, the prosecution must satisfy all of the legal elements of the charge. A good legal defense can potentially lead to a dismissal of the charge, as well as the entire case.

First, the accused may be able to challenge their intoxication. They may introduce facts which show that they were not intoxicated at the time of the incident.  Next, the accused may allege that their behavior was not boisterous or disruptive. Finally, the accused may argue that at the time of the incident, they were not in a public place. If the accused can disprove the “public” element of the offense, their case may be eligible for dismissal.

Call a Columbia Disorderly Conduct Attorney Today

Although a Columbia disorderly conduct conviction is a misdemeanor conviction, it can still result in serious penalties and collateral consequences down the road (especially if you are a college student at the University of South Carolina). A conviction for disorderly conduct can result in a monetary fine or no more than $100, or jail time of no more than 30 days. Moreover, the conviction will result in a criminal record.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can be an enormous help to you in a disorderly conduct case. Your lawyer can help you raise a good legal defense to your charge that may result in a complete dismissal of your case.

Even if you receive a disorderly conduct conviction, a Columbia disorderly conduct lawyer can help you minimize the consequences of that conviction and ask for a reduced sentence or penalty.