In Georgia, disorderly conduct laws falls under a broader topic of “crimes against public order”. Several crimes fall under this topic and the punishments range from fines of $1,000 to prison terms of up to 40 years.
Even if you are facing what seems like a minor misdemeanor nuisance charge, you are still looking at the possibility of a permanent criminal record that could follow you for life.
It makes sense to get a criminal defense consultation from an experienced attorney. And you may be surprised to find out that many of these charges can be dismissed with the right legal argument.
Disorderly conduct offenses and charges are subjective in nature. We can often argue that the arresting officer was overly aggressive in trying to quiet down a situation, and a criminal charge is not in the interests of justice.
Find out how we can help fight your case in a free legal defense consultation. Our legal advice is available to anyone charged with a crime in Georgia.
Georgia Disorderly Conduct – Laws & Penalties
Disorderly conduct itself is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.
You have committed disorderly conduct if the prosecution can prove that you
- Acted in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person that put them in fear of their safety.
- Acted in a violent or tumultuous manner towards another person where their property was put in danger of being damaged or destroyed.
- Without provocation, used “fighting words” or words known to provoke a potential violent reaction.
- Without provocation, used obscene or vulgar language over the telephone to or in the presence of a child under the age of 14.
Maintaining a disorderly house is also a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. A disorderly home is one that lends itself to gaming, drinking, or other disruptive activities to the disturbance of the neighborhood and other citizens.
Public drunkenness is when you appear and are intoxicated in any public place or private home, which is not your own, and act in a way that is boisterous and disruptive, using language considered to be vulgar, profane, and loud. Public drunkenness is another misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and 1 year in prison.
Criminal defamation, (often called defamation of character) is also a misdemeanor that carries a potential sentence of up to $1,000 and 1 year in prison. You may be guilty of defamation if it is proven in court that you lied about another person with the intention of defaming them, causing them to suffer hatred, contempt, or ridicule.
The victim of defamation can be living or dead.
Terroristic Threats and Acts – Laws & Penalties
Terroristic threats are a felony in Georgia. You may be found guilty of terroristic threats if you threaten:
- To commit any crime of violence,
- To release any hazardous substance, or
- To burn or damage property with the intent of causing terror or evacuation.
If you are found guilty of terroristic threats, you could face a fine of no more than $1,000 and prison time not less than 1 year and not more than 5 years.
*If the threat is an act of retribution against someone for assisting law enforcement or a member of the court in an investigation or for attending court as a witness, judge, attorney, or other actor of the court; you face a fine of up to $50,000 and will serve no less than 5 and no more than 10 years in prison.
Terroristic Acts are also a felony in Georgia. You could be charged with and found guilty of terroristic acts if you:
- Use a burning cross or other symbol with the intent of terrorizing someone or their household,
- While not acting lawfully, throw an object at a vehicle while moving or occupied, or
- Release any hazardous or simulated hazardous material with the intention of causing terror or evacuation.
If found guilty of terroristic acts you face a fine of up to $5,000 and prison time of not less than one year and not more than ten.
*If someone suffers a serious injury during the commission of the terrorist act, you face a fine of up to $250,000 and prison time of not less than 5 years and not more than 40.
** If the terroristic act is an act of retribution against someone for assisting law enforcement or a member of the court in an investigation or for attending court as a witness, judge, attorney, or other actor of the court; you face a fine of up to $100,000 and will serve no less than 5 and no more than 20 years in prison.