Most people want to go out with their friends and have a good time now and then. You likely have many fond memories of nights or days with friends, even times when you got a bit rowdy. Of course, you never set out to cause problems for anyone else while you are having a good time.
Still, someone may take issue with the fun you and your friends have. In fact, what you may see as a harmless good time could be a situation that someone else sees as a disturbance. In a serious situation, you could end up facing charges for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace.
Having a good time
Because people have different definitions of what constitutes a good time, it is not unusual for individuals to get annoyed by others. However, simply annoying someone else does not mean that you have disturbed the peace. Other actions that do not fall into this category include the following:
- Accidentally knocking into someone
- Roughhousing or participating in horseplay
- Embarrassing another person
- Making obscene hand gestures, like the middle finger
While these actions could seem inappropriate under some circumstances, it most often does not mean that criminal charges suit the situation.
Of course, certain actions can result in criminal charges in relation to disturbing the peace. Some examples of these illegal behaviors include the following:
- Unlawful public assembly
- Using offensive language in public in attempts to stir up violence
- Fighting or trying to fight someone in a public place
- Permitting a dog to bark constantly in a residential area
- Purposefully making continuous noise, like playing loud music, at night
- Intentionally causing disturbances to sleeping hotel guests
- Loudly speaking in a public area in attempts to start unlawful activity
Commonly, in order for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace charges to apply, you would have acted intentionally and with a malicious intent.
Still, you could face criminal charges if you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time or if someone misinterprets your actions. If so, you may want to review your criminal defense options and how you can work to maintain your innocence. You may understandably feel overwhelmed from the start of this predicament, but also from the start, you can enlist the help of a legal professional to guide you through the proceedings ahead.