Criminal Law:

Disorderly Conduct

Nearly every state has a law regarding disorderly conduct that makes it a crime to:

  • 1) be drunk in public
  • 2) to "disturb the peace"
  • 3) to loiter in certain areas

Many types of obnoxious or unruly behavior may fit the definition of disorderly conduct, as such statutes are often used as "catch-all" crimes. Police may use a disorderly conduct charge to keep the peace when a person is behaving in a disruptive manner, but presents no serious public danger.