What Are the Differences Between Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace?

Violating the rights of others is never advisable. Disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct appear to be relatively minor misdemeanors in Maryland, however a conviction on either charge could result in a criminal record if not defined correctly.

On paper, it seems like these two crimes are the same thing. Take a street brawl, for example. A violent confrontation is certainly disorderly, and it can definitely disturb the peace of anyone watching. A wild party with stadium-sized music blaring at one in the morning certainly checks both boxes as well. But there is an important distinction between the two definitions, even if one type of misdemeanor appears to be in the same category as the other. Here are a few frequently asked questions about disorderly conduct versus disturbing the peace.

Q: What is the definition of disorderly conduct?

A: Disorderly conduct does not fall under any one particular behavior. But to give it a definition, disorderly conduct is any use of force, violence, or excessive noise that creates a problem for public safety. Engaging in fighting or creating a threatening situation would fall under the definition. In Maryland, the consequences of a disorderly conduct conviction could be up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine.

Q: What is the definition of disturbing the peace?

A: There are many ways one can disturb the peace such as an individual on land, premises, or even the beach.This can include unreasonable loud noise or acting in a disorderly manner, shouting shouting in a public place, inciting criminal behavior or intentionally creating loud noise after multiple warnings.

Q: Do these two definitions go together? Can someone be accused of both at the same time?

A: In some ways, yes. Disorderly conduct is more about public safety while disturbing the peace may be more personal in nature. The definitions vary from state to state as do the penalties. Attorneys often determine the appropriate charge for their client to benefit their case and achieve the desired outcome.

Q: How can C. Gregory Coburn Law defend me from either accusation?

A: We are experts in Maryland law and a reputable criminal defense law firm in Ocean City. C. Gregory Coburn Law has over thirty years of experience to assist you in your case. Choose our trusted defense attorney to defend your individual rights if charged with criminal defense or DUI’s and traffic violations. We keep all of our clients well-informed about their case.

Choose the Law Office of C. Gregory Coburn to assist you in your case. We navigate through the complex criminal justice system on a daily basis to ensure our clients receive fair and dedicated treatment. If you have been accused of disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace, contact us today. We will assist you in providing a strong defense and achieving a favorable outcome