The Northampton County Court of Common Pleas is responsible for hearing criminal cases. In 2017, the court handled more than 5,700 cases. Offenses such as disorderly conduct are classified as those that violate public order. There were roughly 327 adult cases processed that year and many of these were resolved through the Northampton County Adult Probation Department.
Disorderly Conduct in Pennsylvania (§5503)
A crime of disorderly conduct is committed willfully in a public place. It may involve behavior that is disruptive, alarming, or reckless. It may be committed by creating excessive noise or fostering an environment that may encourage violence. The behavior may involve inappropriate language, obscene gestures or some other offensive acts.
When the offense is committed with intent to cause serious harm or inconvenience it may be charged as a third-degree misdemeanor. This may also be the charge when the individual refuses to respond to warnings or orders to desist. A third-degree misdemeanor may result in up to one year of incarceration and up to a $2,000 fine.
When the behavior is less serious, the charge is a summary offense, which generally does not involve incarceration. The maximum sentence is 90 days and the maximum fine is $300.
Resisting Arrest (§5104)
This is a similar offense that is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. This is committed when an individual prevents a member of law enforcement from conducting a lawful arrest or other duties. It creates a risk of significant bodily harm to the officer and/or others and may require the officer to use considerable force to counter the resistance. This offense is punishable by a maximum of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Public Nuisance (§6504)
This is a similar offense that is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. It is committed by creating, instituting or erecting some type of public nuisance. The court may order a convicted individual to remove the nuisance at their own expense.
Open Lewdness (§5901)
This is a similar offense that is charged as a third-degree misdemeanor. The crime is committed by participating in some form of offensive action of a sexual nature that is likely to be seen that others find to be crude or alarming.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) in Northampton County
The ARD program is used as an alternative or diversionary option for resolving cases. To be eligible, you must not have participated in the program in the past. It is most commonly applied to cases involving shoplifting, underage alcohol consumption, disorderly conduct, and similar offenses. Those who complete the program are eligible to have the records of their offense expunged.
Do I Need to Retain Legal Representation?
Charges that involve disorderly conduct typically result from unruly, boisterous or some type of behavior that can incite violence. Those who are charged with the offense in Pennsylvania may face penalties including jail time, significant fines, probation, community service hours, and more. Hiring an experienced defense lawyer may also help you to prevent having a conviction on your criminal record.
Criminal Defense Lawyer for Cases in Northampton County
Have you been arrested for allegedly committing a criminal offense? Attorney Joseph D. Lento has been representing clients in these matters for many years and will work on your behalf to obtain a more favorable outcome. For a case consultation, you are encouraged to contact the office at (888) 535-3686.