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What does disorderly conduct mean according to Maryland law?

Do you face charges of disorderly conduct but are not even sure why? It is not uncommon for out-of-state defendants not to understand such charges, especially when they did not know that what they were doing is illegal.

Understanding what Maryland law defines as disorderly conduct can help you better fight the charges. The knowledge can also prevent another arrest in the future.

The definition of disorderly conduct

Simply speaking, behavior that disturbs the peace of others is disorderly. The conduct also must happen in a public place or conveyance (transportation). Examples of such conduct include:

  •        Purposely blocking the passage of others in public areas
  •        Making a bonfire between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. (Worcester County only)
  •        Disobeying a police officer's order to prevent disorderly conduct
  •        Being unreasonably loud in public or on private property
  •        Going onto someone else's property to disturb the people there through noise or other behavior
  •        Throwing objects onto the field or on spectators at an athletic event

Doing any of these things is a misdemeanor. All but the last two can lead to up to a $500 fine and/or 60 days of jail time. The sporting event behavior comes with up to 3 months in jail and/or a $250 fine, and preventing entry into a health care building results in up to a $1000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

Related crimes

Related disorderly conduct included in other sections of Maryland law are:

  •        Being intoxicated in public
  •        Picketing at places of residence (except under certain circumstances)
  •        Failing to leave a public building upon request

Some of these come with more severe penalties than the other types of disorderly conduct. Regardless of which kind you committed, you do not want your arrest, charges or a conviction on your criminal record. It is best to have a local Maryland criminal defense attorney help you with your out-of-state case.

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