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Tennessee Disorderly Conduct Laws

Tennessee has passed laws to keep the public safe by making it illegal to commit certain crimes that disturb the peace of others. These laws are commonly called disorderly conduct, breaching the peace, and public intoxication laws. The general idea behind these laws is that a state has an interest in its residents and visitors being free of unreasonably offensive behavior or behavior that could harm themselves or others.

Summary of Tennessee Disorderly Conduct Laws

As part of your legal research, it's important to read the actual letter of the law. Unfortunately, this isn't always easy since laws are usually written in legal language that takes time to dissect. So, it's helpful to also read a summary of law that's written in plain English, such as the chart below describing Tennessee's disorderly conduct laws.


Tennessee Code Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 3:

What's Prohibited?

Disorderly Conduct: Fighting or threatening behavior, refusing to obey an official order to disperse during an emergency, creating a hazardous condition without legitimate purpose, or being unreasonably noisy as to prevent others from lawful activities, in public with intent to annoy the people.

Public Intoxication: Appearing in public under the influence of any intoxicating substance so the person, other persons, or property may be endangered or people in the area are unreasonably annoyed.

Disorderly Conduct at Funerals: Interfering with a funeral, burial, viewing, service, or procession by picking, protesting, or making other offensive displays or gestures within 500 feet of the funeral related activity.


Disorderly conduct and public intoxication are Class C misdemeanors while disorderly conduct at funerals is a Class B misdemeanor.


The authorized penalties for misdemeanors are as follows:

  • Class B Misdemeanor: not more than 6 months in jail and a $500 fine.
  • Class C Misdemeanor: not more than 30 days in jail and a $50 fine.
Related Statute(s)

Tennessee Code Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 3:

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.

Tennessee Disorderly Conduct Laws: Related Resources

For more information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links below.

Get Legal Help with Your Disorderly Conduct Charges in Tennessee

While violating Tennessee disorderly conduct laws may not seem like a big deal, a conviction can still land you in jail and saddle you with a criminal record. If you're facing charges of disorderly conduct or another related crime, it's a good idea to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney in Tennessee.

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