Disorderly conduct can be an ambiguous charge. For example, protesters protesting peacefully are at times arrested and charged with disorderly conduct by the police. Other examples that would amount to disorderly conduct in Maryland are bar fights, domestic violence, and public arguments.
Every state has created laws to protect its citizen from the disorderly conduct of the others. Disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace laws forbid people from making or creating extremely loud noise, picking up a fight, or preventing others from traveling in public areas. In Maryland, getting drunk and creating disturbance in public also comes within the purview of disorderly conduct.
There are some laws related to disorderly conduct as well. In Maryland, it is unlawful to make loud noises at home or disruptive behavior. Such behavior is prohibited at sporting events also.
The common characteristic of disorderly conduct is disturbing the peace of the public and that should have happened in a public place. When it means public peace, it is required that a third party should have been affected or could be affected.
The disorderly conduct in Maryland has been defined in the Criminal Law Code, Section 10-201: Disturbing the Public Peace and Disorderly Conduct.
There are four types of disorderly conduct are prohibited in Maryland:
- Wilfully blocking the free passage of people into public places such as buildings, parking lots, streets, elevators, hotels, amusement parks, theatres, schools, etc. or on public transport.
- Wilfully disturbing the peace of the public.
- Wilfully failing to obey a reasonable order form a police officer to prevent a disturbance of the peace.
- Making exceptionally loud noises to disturb the peace of another in a public place or public transportation or in one’s own home or land.
- Entering another person’s premises to disturb the peace of people thereby making an unreasonably loud noise or acting in a disorderly manner
The penalties for disorderly conduct:
Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor for which punishment can go up to 60 days in jail and fine of up to $500.
Interfering with right of entry to a medical facility can be punished by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Interfering with a sporting event is punishable by three months in jail and a fine of up to $250. Those convicted of public intoxication could a prison term that may go up to 90 days in jail and a fine amounting to $100. Keeping a disorderly house is an offense punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $300.
A recurrent conviction for disorderly conducts, particularly if it involves alcohol use, will lead to stiffer penalties.