Criminal cases in Lehigh County are heard in the Court of Common Pleas. Cases involving disorderly conduct are categorized as public order offenses. In 2017 in Lehigh County, there were approximately 339 total adult and juvenile cases in this category. The majority of these cases are resolved through the Adult and Juvenile Probations Offices.
Disorderly Conduct in Pennsylvania
An individual may be guilty of disorderly conduct if they intentionally participate in public behavior that is bothersome, alarming, or reckless such as:
- Behavior that is aggressive or “violent or tumultuous”
- Being excessively loud
- Making lewd gestures or using inappropriate language
- Creates conditions that are offensive or dangerous
If the behavior is intended to create significant harm or inconvenience then the individual may be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor offense. This also will apply when conduct continues after a warning is issued or a request to stop has been made. A third-degree misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum of one year of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,000.
When the disorderly behavior is less significant, the individual may be charged with a summary offense. The maximum jail sentence that may be imposed is 90 days and the maximum fine is $300 for summary offenses. It is very unlikely that an offender would be incarcerated for this level of an offense.
Failure of Disorderly Persons to Disperse
This is a similar offense that involves three or more individuals who are demonstrating aggressive, loud or otherwise inappropriate behavior in public. The offense is committed by failing to cease the behavior and vacate the area after being told to do so by a peace officer or other official. This is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor offense that is punishable by a maximum of two years of imprisonment and a maximum of a $5,000 fine.
Public Drunkenness and Similar Misconduct
This is a similar offense that involves an individual that is visibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol in public. The behavior demonstrated in potentially hazardous to the offender and is disruptive to others. The individual is guilty of a summary offense and may be fined up to $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for any subsequent offenses.
Adult Probation in Lehigh County
Those with a conviction of a misdemeanor or summary offense are often placed on community supervision. This is a period of probation where the offender must adhere to a set of conditions. In Lehigh County, those on probation will be required to visit their assigned officer regularly, pay any fines and restitution as ordered, and must notify the department before leaving the state. Offenders may be required to participate in an assessment or evaluation for problems with alcohol or drugs and submit to random drug screening.
Defense Attorney for Disorderly Conduct Cases in Lehigh County
Have you been arrested for a criminal offense such as disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, or public drunkenness? Attorney Joseph D. Lento provides aggressive defense for clients facing these and other allegations throughout the Pennsylvania courts. Contact the office for a complimentary case evaluation at (888) 535-3686 today.