While disorderly conduct laws vary from state to state, they generally serve the purpose of outlawing obnoxious or unruly conduct in public. Disorderly conduct crimes can include anything from public intoxication to disturbing the peace. Under Ohio law, disorderly conduct is considered an "offense against the public peace" and can arise out of many different situations and circumstances. For example, a person who engages in fighting or makes unreasonable noise and annoys, alarms, or inconveniences someone is in violation of Ohio's disorderly conduct laws.
Ohio Disorderly Conduct Laws Overview
Below you will find key provisions of disorderly conduct laws in Ohio.
Ohio Revised Code Title XXIX. Crimes Procedure Section 2917.11 , et seq.
Disorderly Conduct (2917.11):
- recklessly causing an alarm, annoyance, or inconvenience by insulting or taunting another, making an offensively coarse gesture, or preventing someone's movement on a public street*; or
- while intoxicated either: (1) acting in a way that presents a risk of physical harm to a person (including the offender) or to someone else's property, or (2) engaging in offensive conduct in a public place (or in the presence of two or more people).
Disturbing a Lawful Meeting (2917.12): obstructing or interfering with the due conduct of a meeting/procession/gathering, or saying or doing something that "outrages the sensibilities" of the group with the purpose of preventing or disrupting a lawful meeting/procession/gathering.
Misconduct at an Emergency (2917.13):
- knowingly hinder the lawful operations of an authorized person (i.e. a firefighter, police officer, etc.) at the scene of an emergency;
- at an emergency facility, knowingly hinder the lawful activities of an emergency facility person; or
- fail to obey a lawful order by a police officer at the scene of an emergency.
*This is not an exhaustive list.
Disorderly Conduct is usually a minor misdemeanor; however, under certain circumstances, it can be a fourth degree misdemeanor.
Disturbing a Lawful Meeting is a fourth degree misdemeanor.
Misconduct at an Emergency is generally a fourth degree misdemeanor; but, if the violation creates risk of physical harm to people or property, it's a first degree misdemeanor.
Conviction under Ohio's disorderly conduct laws can result in jail time and/or fines:
- Minor misdemeanor: fine of up to $150.
- Fourth degree misdemeanor: up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
- First degree misdemeanor: up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Ohio Revised Code Title XXIX. Crimes Procedure Section 2917.41 (Misconduct Involving a Public Transportation System)
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Ohio Disorderly Conduct Laws: Related Resources
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Get Legal Help with Your Disorderly Conduct Case in Ohio
While disorderly conduct isn't as serious as other crimes, such as murder or robbery, it can still result in jail time. Since Ohio's criminal laws can get complicated, particularly with respect to free speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, it may be a good idea to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in Ohio if you have questions about your specific situation.