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What is Disorderly Conduct?

In my last post, I discussed how criminal mischief in Indiana can get you in serious trouble with the law. Mischief’s closely-related legal cousin is “disorderly conduct.” In Indiana, “disorderly conduct” is a common criminal charge that covers a relatively broad range of behavior. Whether you have been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly fighting with someone in public or creating a disturbance, it is critical to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Disorderly Conduct Defined

Indiana Criminal Code Section 35-45-1-3 defines “disorderly conduct” as recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally:

  • engaging in fighting or in tumultuous conduct;
  • making unreasonable noise and continuing to do so after being asked to stop; or
  • disrupting a lawful assembly of persons;

Being “Tumultuous”

So fighting, being loud after being asked to be quiet, and disrupting a legal meeting can get you charged with disorderly conduct, but how do you know whether your conduct is “tumultuous” such that you can also find yourself charged with a crime? If what you are doing results in, or is likely to result in, serious bodily injury to a person or substantial damage to property, then what you are doing is “tumultuous” as defined by the law and can get you charged with disorderly conduct.


Most disorderly conduct charges are classified as Class B misdemeanors that can result in a sentence of up to 180 days in jail, but such charges are frequently accompanied by other charges, such as assault, public intoxication, or resisting arrest than potentially carry more serious penalties. Additionally, disorderly conduct can result in a Level 6 felony charge if it happens at an airport or at a funeral.

There are numerous ways to fight disorderly conduct and related charges. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, it’s important to protect your reputation and your freedom. Contact an experienced Indiana criminal defense lawyer at your earliest opportunity.

The laws governing legal advertising in the state of Indiana require the following statement in any publication of this kind: “THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT.” This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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