You know that everything is bigger in the great state of Texas, right? Well, unfortunately that also includes the list of actions that are categorized as disorderly conduct. In a supposed effort to maintain civility and peace, our lawmakers have cast a large net that encompasses a wide variety of behaviors that fall under this charge – many of which may surprise you. Ready for them? Under the Texas penal code, these offenses are listed as disorderly conduct.
Class C misdemeanors
- Using abusive, offensive, or vulgar language in a public place
- Offensive gesturing in a public place
- Creating chemically-based noxious odors in a public place
- Threatening or abusing another person in a public place
- Unreasonable noise making
- Public fighting
- Discharging firearm on or across public road
- Exposing genitalia in a public place
- Peeping into another’s personal property
- Peeping into another’s hotel room
- Peeping into a public restroom, shower, or changing room
- Cockfighting: attending an event
- Using laser pointer against uniformed safety officer
- Intentionally directing intense light at an aircraft, unless emergency distress signal
Class B misdemeanors
- Discharging firearm in public place, other than public road or shooting range
- Displaying firearm in public place with intent to cause alarm
- Obstructing public highways or passages
- Disrupting processions or meetings
- Disrupting a funeral service
- Silent or abusive 911 calls
- Harassing via phone or electronic communication
Class A misdemeanors
- Making a false alarm
- Interfering with emergency assistance request
- Abusing a human corpse
- Cruelty to livestock
- Attacking an assistance animal
- Certain acts of animal cruelty
- Dogfighting: owning equipment, training dogs, or attending events
- Cockfighting: training cocks, hosting events, or owning equipment
- Destroying State of Texas flag or United States flag
- Discharging a firearm inside city limits of city with population of 100,000 or greater
- Intentionally directing intense light at an aircraft to impair the operator’s ability to control the aircraft
State jail felony
- Cruelty to livestock: certain cases
- Injury to assistance animal
- Animal cruelty: certain types or repeat incidents
- Dogfighting: instigating fights, participating in earnings, or hosting events
- Cockfighting: instigating fights or participating in earnings
Third degree felony
- Killing an assistance animal
The punishments for these charges are as follows:
- Class C misdemeanors carry a fine of up to $500, but require no jail time.
- Class B misdemeanors carry a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both.
- Class A misdemeanors carry a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
- A state jail felony charge carries a sentence of 180 to 240 days in state prison along with a maximum fine of $10,000.
- A third degree felony charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison with a maximum fine of $10,000.
At first glance, disorderly conduct charges may not seem all that serious. Yet the possibility of paying steep fines and facing jail time may be imminent for you. A criminal record can also interfere with your ability to apply for certain jobs. Moreover, if you ever commit another crime, your punishments can be increased due to past charges. For these reasons, it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer as soon as you face charges.
Several defenses exist within Texas laws. A skilled attorney will know which defense strategy is most likely to help in your case.
Don’t feel forced into pleading guilty in your desire to move forward. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and get the legal help you need.
About the Author:
After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. His skill has earned him recognition from the National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers) and Avvo (Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Attorney in DUI & DWI, 10/10 Superb Rating), and he is Lead Counsel rated.