In Georgia, there are a number of different charges which commonly get charged alongside DUI. One of the most common is the charge of disorderly conduct. When a driver is intoxicated, he or she often makes poor conduct choices, and with Georgia's broad definitions the law covers a great many situations.
If you or someone you care for has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol along with a charge of disorderly conduct, an experienced Fulton County DUI attorney can protect your rights. Just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty.
Disorderly Conduct Charge in Fulton County
Many times this "crime" is overcharged and used as a catch-all offense when an officer simply thinks you are not acting "properly" in his or her opinion. In so many cases the conduct at issue should never be charged as a crime, but the state of Georgia has defined disorderly conduct so broadly that almost anything could be interpreted as disorderly conduct.
A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct when he or she:
- acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby such person is placed in reasonable fear of the safety of such person's life, limb, or health;
- acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby the property of such person is placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed;
- without provocation, uses to or of another person in such other person's presence, opprobrious or abusive words which by their very utterance tend to incite to an immediate breach of the peace (that is to say, words which as a matter of common knowledge and under ordinary circumstances will, when used to or of another person in such other person's presence, naturally tend to provoke violent resentment, commonly called "fighting words"); or
- without provocation, uses obscene and vulgar or profane language in the presence of or by telephone to a person under the age of 14 years which threatens an immediate breach of the peace.
Based on the language of the Georgia law, even using curse words could count towards a charge of disorderly conduct in certain circumstances. With the help of a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer, you can challenge the validity of the charges against you.
Penalties for Disorderly Conduct
Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor charge but even as a misdemeanor it can affect your life in important ways. If convicted of disorderly conduct, you face the following penalties.
- A maximum sentence of up to 12 months (one year) in jail.
- A maximum fine of up to $1,000.
Instead of jail time, the sentencing judge has the authority to send you to probation instead of jail time, as well as any variety of fines, community service, or participation in an alcohol-awareness class.
Consult a Fulton County DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for disorderly conduct alongside a charge of DUI, you face jail time, high fines, and the risk of losing your driver's license. An experienced Fulton County DUI attorney will challenge your charges to protect your rights. Contact us today.