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Michigan Disorderly Conduct Laws

"Disorderly conduct" refers to actions that disturb other people. Each state has their own laws against disorderly conduct, such as neglecting one's family, prostitution, peeping toms, persons who illegally run a business, and those who are drunk, indecent or obscene, vagrants, and loiterers.

Disorderly Conduct in Michigan

In Michigan, a person commits a disorderly offense when he or she does any of the following:

  • Neglecting to support your family
  • Being a prostitute
  • Peeping Toms
  • Engaging in an illegal business or profession (such as illegal gambling)
  • Being intoxicated in public and directly endangering the safety of another person or causing a public disturbance
  • Engaging in indecent or obscene conduct in public (such as nudity or sexual acts)
  • Being a vagrant
  • Loitering at police stations, jails, hospitals, or courthouses, soliciting work as an attorney or bail bond, or other legal services.
  • Unnecessarily jostling or crowding others in public places.

Funeral Picketing

Michigan joined a number of states in banning picketing at a funeral after a string of events involving the Westboro Baptist Church picketing the funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan with signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers." The state lawmakers in enacting this type of legislation exercise the power to impose content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions concerning free speech. Although the First Amendment protects the right of picketers to protest at military funerals, the protestors are allowed only if they are addressing public issues. An important factor in balancing the law here is the distance restrictions. Michigan requires a protestor maintain a distance of at least 500 feet.

Michigan Disorderly Conduct Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of the statutes related to Michigan's disorderly conduct laws, including links to important code sections. Read more about related offenses, such as disturbing the peace, public intoxication, and public safety violations.

Code Sections

Michigan Penal Code Section 750.167, 167a (Disorderly Person), Michigan Penal Code Section 750.167d (Funeral picketing)

What is Prohibited

(see above)

Funeral Picketing: Intimidating, threatening, or harassing people attending a funeral, service, viewing, procession, or burial. Protesters must stay at least 500 feet away from a funeral, burial, or other ceremony.

Penalties

Misdemeanor, up to 90 Days in jail and maximum fine of $500, or both.

Picketing at a funeral is a felony. Up to 2 yrs. in prison, $5000 fine, or both. If it is your second offense, the punishment is up to 4 yrs. in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

Michigan Disorderly Conduct: Related Resources

Contact an Attorney about Your Disorderly Conduct Concerns

Although Michigan's disorderly conduct laws are fairly specific, it can still be difficult to determine whether your actions rise to the level of illegal conduct. If you're facing these charges, then you want someone on your side that understands the law and can help to protect your good name. Consider contacting a Michigan criminal defense attorney located near you to learn more.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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