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New Hampshire Disorderly Conduct Laws

Every state has "catch-all" statutes that criminalize disorderly conduct. The specific acts that are prohibited by these statutes vary from state to state but generally address obnoxious or unruly conduct that disturbs the peace. New Hampshire's disorderly conduct law is outlined in the table below.

Code Section

New Hampshire Revised Statutes section 644:2: Disorderly Conduct

What's Prohibited?

  • Knowingly or purposefully creating a condition which is hazardous to yourself or another in a public place by any action which serves no legitimate purpose
  • Engaging in fighting or in violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior in a public place
  • Directing at another person in a public place obscene, derisive, or offense words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction from an ordinary person
  • Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic on any public street, sidewalk, or the entrance to any building
  • Engaging in conduct in a public place which substantially interferes with a criminal investigation, a firefighting operation, the provision of emergency medical treatment, or the provision of other emergency services for which traffic or pedestrian management is required
  • Knowingly refusing to comply with the lawful order of a peace officer to move from or remain away from a public place, or
  • Purposefully creating a breach of the peace, public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof by making loud or unreasonable noise, disrupting the orderly conduct of business at a public facility, or disrupting any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority


Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor if the offense continues after a request by any person to desist, otherwise it is a violation.

What is a "Public Place?"

In New Hampshire, a "public place" means any place that is open to the public or that a substantial group has access to. The term includes (but isn't limited to) public ways, sidewalks, schools, hospitals, government offices, and the lobbies or hallways of apartment buildings, dormitories, hotels, or motels.

Related Offenses

In New Hampshire there are several other separate offenses that are closely related to the crime of disorderly conduct. For example, it is a crime to riot, protest at a funeral, or to cause false public alarm.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding New Hampshire's disorderly conduct laws contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

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