Frequently Asked Questions About Disorderly Conduct

Question: “I got a disorderly conduct charge last night for public drunkeness. What’s the worst can happen if I don’t hire a lawyer?”

Answer:  The worst thing that can happen depends on what you did to earn a Disorderly Conduct charge.

For individuals over the age of 21, public intoxication is not a crime, but if you commit a crime while intoxicated or drunk, you will be charged for that crime.  Conviction for misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct can mean a fine up to $1,500, up to 30 days in jail, and up to two years probation.  Subsequent violations may increase fines, probation time, and jail time.

Certain offenses, such as making a bomb threat or reporting a false bomb threat, may result in a Felony charge carrying stiff fines and a prison sentence of up to 5 years.  If serious bodily injury results as a result of your false report, you may face up to 20 years in jail.

It’s always a good idea to hire the best lawyer you can afford when facing criminal charges.  If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, it’s likely that the judge will appoint one for you.


Question: “My neighbors called the police because I set off some fireworks.  I was in my own yard and nobody was hurt, but I still got charged with Disorderly Conduct.  Why?”

Answer: Many fireworks are illegal in Illinois and McHenry County, and many communities set their own rules for what types of fireworks are legal, where and when they may be used, and if they require a permit.  Before acquiring fireworks, you should be aware that even the possession of illegal fireworks can result in stiff fines and/or criminal charges.  In Chicago, for example, you could be fined from $200 to $500 or be charged with a felony for possessing illegal fireworks.


If you have been charged with Disorderly Conduct and are wondering if you need legal representation, please fill out the form below for a FREE initial consultation with Criminal Defense Lawyer David B. Franks.

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