While we all enjoy the occasional evening out on the town at our favorite club, restaurant, or local tavern, it is important to be aware of your behavior, as well as how much you have had to drink, when out in public to avoid legal issues which could impact your current and future well-being. In addition to facing possible arrest and fines, being charged for drunken, disorderly conduct in public can have serious ramifications on other areas of your life, both now and in the years to come. While these are considered misdemeanor charges under Michigan law, they will remain on your criminal record, and could have lasting impacts on your career and employment opportunities.
Disorderly Conduct Charges
Under the Section 750.167 of the Michigan Code of Laws(MCL), disorderly conduct charges can be brought against a person who is publicly intoxicated and engaged in one of the following:
- Endangering the safety of another person;
- Doing damage to property;
- Behaving in a manner that causes a public disturbance.
This type of behavior can occur in a club, tavern, or other public place, as well as on streets, sidewalks, and other settings. Types of disorderly conduct may be verbally or physically harassing others, behaving in a loud and obnoxious manner, defacing property or buildings, disrupting traffic or pedestrian patterns, and being involved in physical confrontations. Depending on the type of behavior you were engaged in, you may be facing additional charges, such as public intoxication, assault, and criminal trespass.
Ramifications of Disorderly Conduct Charges
Under the Michigan Code, disorderly conduct is charged as a misdemeanor, and punishments may include up to ninety days’ jail time, as well as fines up to $500.00 (MCL 750.168). According to rules set by the Michigan Courts, drunken disorderly conduct is likely to result in arrest, where you be held until bond is set or an arraignment hearing is scheduled by the judge or magistrate responsible for your case. Regardless of whether or not you are found guilty, your arrest will remain on your record, where it can be easily viewed by anyone conducting a routine internet search or background check.
While misdemeanors are often considered to be minor charges, their effect on both your personal and professional life can be severe. A May 2016 Michigan Live report focused on a recent case involving University of Michigan quarterback Alex Malzone, who made national headlines when he was charged with disorderly conduct for blocking a street/sidewalk while out for a night with friends. Malzone admitted responsibility and while the fine he paid was only for $175, it is still undetermined whether he will face additional penalties, which could include a period of suspension, from the team.
Contact Us for Help
If you or someone you care about is facing misdemeanor charges, contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office today. Our experienced Grand Rapids criminal law attorneys understand the serious ramifications these charges can have on your life, both now and in the future. We provide the aggressive legal defense you need to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Serving grand Rapids and the surrounding areas, call or contact our office online today to discuss your case.