Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense that is defined in Texas Penal Code Section 42.01 that prohibits offensive gestures, language that incites a breach of peace, unreasonable odors, threats, fights, noises, and other offensive activities.
Other common examples of disorderly conduct include: exposing your genitals or anus in a reckless manner disregarding anyone who may see you, or peeking into someone else’s private residence, hotel, restroom or shower stall designed for privacy.
A disorderly conduct charge is generally a Class C misdemeanor.
However, two disorderly conduct charges are Class B misdemeanors in Texas. They both involve firearms. Discharging a firearm in a public place or across a public road can land you in jail for up to six months and up to a $10,000 fine.
There is an affirmative defense to threatening a person if the accused had significant provocation for the threat. There are affirmative defenses for individuals charged with discharging a firearm if the firearm was discharged out of a reasonable fear of bodily injury by a wild animal.
While we generally leave Class C matters to “ticket attorneys,” every year we handle a handful of Class C charges when the charge is from the Tarrant-Dallas area, and the recipient of the citation is a professional or university student who is interested in not only the outcome of the citation but also in a future expunction.
There are three ways to avoid a conviction for a Class C citation in Texas. Our first goal is to resolve the ticket through a dismissal, acquittal, or in another fashion that makes the citation expunction-eligible. We also talk to our clients about their expunction possibilities and how quickly they can get an expunction. This varies based on jurisdiction.
Were you arrested for reckless public behavior? Call a hardworking disorderly conduct lawyer in Fort Worth for help assessing your legal rights and options.