Criminal Defense

Disorderly Conduct Attorney


If you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct in Arizona, it’s crucial to understand the law and your defense options. Disorderly conduct charges can have severe consequences, and navigating the legal system can be complex.

Alcock & Associates is a trusted law firm specializing in criminal defense. Our criminal defense attorneys have defended hundreds of disorderly conduct charges in Arizona for over two decades. We know that a disorderly conduct charge can enormously impact your life, and we commit ourselves to provide you with the focused and aggressive representation you deserve.  Our ultimate goal is to win your disorderly conduct case.

The Basics

Disorderly conduct allows police to arrest people who disturb the peace and quiet of a neighborhood. This is a very broad standard. Unfortunately, many good people get arrested by the police for little more than shouting.

Many disorderly conduct cases involve fighting words, which include abusive or offensive language. Encouraging a crowd to say profane things can also lead to a disorderly conduct arrest. Racial slurs are fighting words.

However, it is possible to be charged with disorderly conduct for merely “failing to obey” a police officer’s order. In many cases, police arrest people for failing to back up fast enough or cross the street to an adjacent sidewalk. And our firm’s goal is to help our clients navigate through the sometimes confusing details of a disorderly conduct charge. 

When handling a disorderly conduct case, we thoroughly examine the circumstances that led to the arrest and evaluate all possible defenses. Did the arresting officer have the right to stop, detain, and arrest you? Are there witnesses who contradict the police officer’s report? Is there video evidence that shows that your conduct was reasonable? All these factors are closely examined when we represent someone accused of disorderly conduct.

Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor unless it involves displaying or discharging a weapon. It can be charged as a domestic violence offense if the alleged victim is a family member or someone you live with. Because of this, people charged with disorderly conduct can face a very wide range of consequences.

Please remember that most people charged with disorderly conduct in Arizona do not serve a significant amount of time in jail. If you have any questions about the consequences of your disorderly conduct case, please call us for a free consultation.



  1. A person commits disorderly conduct if, with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or with knowledge of doing so, such person:
    1. Engages in fighting, violent or seriously disruptive behavior; or
    2. Makes unreasonable noise; or
    3. Uses abusive or offensive language or gestures to any person present in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation by such person; or
    4. Makes any protracted commotion, utterance or display with the intent to prevent the transaction of the business of a lawful meeting, gathering or procession; or
    5. Refuses to obey a lawful order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, a hazard or any other emergency; or
    6. Recklessly handles, displays or discharges a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
  2. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraph 6 is a class 6 felony. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Our staff of experienced attorneys, including many former prosecutors who know the other side of these cases, has had a lot of positive results for our clients. They will work hard for you and strive to deliver the best results possible.

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.


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.

Frequently Asked Questions for Disorderly Conduct

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Here at Alcock and Associates our team and staff are dedicated to helping and representing YOU. The first step is to understand your case. We will take the time to get to know you and your legal situation so that we are best able to answer all of your questions. After your initial consultation with our attorneys, you will know what you are facing and what can happen to your case.


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Alcock & Associates P.C.
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Phoenix AZ 85004