Felony vs Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct
In Arizona, disorderly conduct charges can be categorized into misdemeanors and felonies. Most felony disorderly conduct cases involve the display or discharge of a weapon or instances of shooting guns in the air. However, the statute allows people to also be charged for waving a gun around.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s office has policies regarding weapons cases. In particular, they aggressively prosecute those who have discharged a gun recklessly. If you are charged with this section of disorderly conduct, we advise you to contact our attorneys for a consultation prior to your first court appearance.
For those charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, keep in mind that you will usually be given some time to hire an attorney. The first court appearance is an opportunity to enter a plea of not guilty. From there, the disorderly conduct charge is set for a number of pretrial conferences.
Although you are legally entitled to represent yourself in court on a disorderly conduct charge, you should at least consult with our criminal defense attorneys before appearing in court or making any major decisions.
PENALTIES & CONSEQUENCES FOR DISORDERLY CONDUCT IN ARIZONA
Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct
Unless the charge involves the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, disorderly conduct is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for class 1 misdemeanor disorderly conduct can result in up to 6 months of incarceration, fines and surcharges of around $2500, and a probation period of up to 3 years. In cases where disorderly conduct is charged as an act of domestic violence, the defendant not only faces legal penalties but also loses the right to own or possess firearms and must complete a mandatory domestic violence program.
Felony Disorderly Conduct
Disorderly conduct may be a felony charge if firearms are involved. If this happens, the charge will be upgraded to a class 6 felony. A conviction for felony disorderly conduct can result in a maximum of three years in prison and larger financial penalties. Repeat offenders face harsher punishments.
In lieu of the maximum jail/prison term, the court may impose felony supervised probation, mandatory counseling, jail time, and any other measures that it deems necessary and appropriate based on the circumstances of your case.
Moreover, being labeled as a convicted felon can have lifelong consequences in various aspects of your life, including employment opportunities, housing, and civil rights.
Are You Facing Prison Time?
Most of the people who have been charged with disorderly conduct do not face lengthy prison sentences. But even if no prison sentence is involved, a disorderly conduct conviction can tremendously impact the rest of a person’s life. Felony disorderly conduct charges can result in long probation terms on top of other penalties, so it is always best to seek expert legal help to minimize the consequences.
Please contact one of our criminal defense attorneys to discuss the details of your disorderly conduct case. We offer a free consultation and can answer many of your questions over the phone. Call us at 602-989-5000.