Rhode Island Disorderly Conduct Lawyer

Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island is a crime that often acts as a catch-all charge for any type of behavior the police consider disruptive or unruly. Although vague, it is one of the most common charges in Rhode Island and can result in fines, jail time and a criminal record. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct or domestic disorderly conduct, is important to contact a skilled Rhode Island Disorderly Conduct lawyer right away.

What is Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island?

Due to how expansive the law is, it is relatively easy to be on the receiving end of a disorderly conduct charge. Although disorderly conduct covers a broad range of behavior including fighting, something as insignificant as having your music too loud at a party can result in a criminal charge. Under Rhode Island General Law §11-45-1, disorderly conduct constitutes intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:

  • Engaging in fighting or threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior;
  • In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbing another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities;
  • Directing at another person in a public place offensive words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction on the part of the average person so addressed;
  • Alone or with others, obstructing a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place ordinarily used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances;
  • Engaging in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering;
  • For a lascivious purpose, looking into an occupied dwelling or other building on the property through a window or other opening; or
  • Who without the knowledge or consent of the individual, looking for a lascivious purpose through a window, or any other opening into an area in which another would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a restroom, locker room, shower, changing room, dressing room, bedroom, or any other such private area, not withstanding any property rights the individual may have in the location in which the private area is located.

What are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island?

Despite how minor some of the behaviors listed above may seem, a disorderly conduct charge is still considered a crime and a petty misdemeanor in Rhode Island. As a result, the charge carries up to a six (6) months incarceration and a $500 fine. Additionally, a disorderly conduct charge may also require counseling, community service and other penalties.

Domestic Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island

An individual in Rhode Island can also be charged with “Domestic Disorderly Conduct” if the defendant and the reporting party/ alleged victim of the disorderly behavior are family or household members which include:

  • Husband, wife, spouses, or former spouses
  • Adult persons related by blood or marriage
  • Adult persons who are presently living together (roommates) or have lived together within the past 3 years
  • People who have a child in common
  • People who are or have been engaged, or in a significant dating relationship within the past year as determined by the court, based on length and type of relationship, time/duration of relationship, and frequency of interaction between the two individuals

What are the penalties for Domestic Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island?

A conviction for domestic disorderly conduct charge in Rhode Island will result in additional automatic penalties, above and beyond what one would face for a disorderly conduct charge (see above). These additional automatic penalties include:

1st Offense:

  • Attend a twenty (20) week batterer’s intervention program
  • Pay additional assessment fees of $125.00
  • A domestic no-contact order
    • This will prohibit the defendant from contacting the alleged victim of the domestic disorderly conduct in anyway including phone calls, text messages, social media, face to face confrontations, and in-direct contact through another individual.
    • Violation of a domestic no-contact order can result in an additional criminal charge, potential bail violation, and severe penalties.

2nd Offense:

  • Minimum of 10 days in jail and a maximum of up to a year
  • Attend a twenty (20) week batterer’s intervention program
  • Pay additional assessment fees of $125.00
  • Domestic no-contact order

3rd Offense:

  • Minimum of 1-10 years in prison
  • Attend a twenty (20) week batterer’s intervention program
  • Pay additional assessment fees of $125.00
  • Domestic no-contact order

For more information on Domestic Violence Crimes in Rhode Island, visit our Domestic Violence page.

If you find yourself charged with disorderly conduct or domestic disorderly conduct in Rhode Island, call the skilled Rhode Island Disorderly Conduct lawyers at Abilheira Law. Our experienced attorneys will explain your options and help defend you against these charges. Do not risk your career with a criminal record, call Abilheira Law today for a free and confidential consultation.