Defending Disorderly Conduct Charges in Westport
Effectively fighting back against an allegation that you violated state law by engaging in unruly or disturbing behavior can be particularly complex. If you need help defending disorderly conduct charges in Westport and want the best chance of getting a positive case result, there is no substitute for guidance from a capable disorderly conduct attorney.
What Makes Disorderly Conduct Charges So Complicated?
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-182 lists several specific actions someone could take that may qualify as unlawful, disorderly conduct. These include:
- Blocking a public roadway;
- Disturbing a lawful assembly;
- Observing someone inside their home without their knowledge and while trespassing on their property;
- Being drunk in public; or
- Loitering in certain areas.
The most widely used definition of this crime, however, is the one laid out in C.G.S. § 53a-182(a)(2): annoying or interfering with someone else “by offensive or disorderly conduct.”
If this seems confusing and redundant, that is because it is—and unfortunately, it also gives police officers a great deal of leeway when it comes to defining exactly what counts as “disorderly conduct” and what they can legally arrest someone for. It is not uncommon for law enforcement officers to penalize someone for being “disorderly” under this statute even when neither they nor the person they were allegedly annoying feels anyone has broken the law. This looseness makes defending against disruptive behavior charges in Westport incredibly difficult without qualified and tenacious legal representation.
What Evidence is Important for a Disorderly Conduct Defense?
Whether someone is charged with a specific action defined in the Connecticut Penal Code as disorderly conduct or is accused of being disruptive in a non-specific way, their defense strategy will often be similar: typically, this strategy is built around contesting the recollections of the police officer who arrested them. Sometimes, this can be done through objective and quantitative information, such as a security camera recording of an alleged incident that shows that the defendant was not being disorderly to a criminal degree.
Most of the time, however, it will be necessary to construct an alternate perspective of events through more subjective evidence like witness testimony, police reports, 911 recordings, and other pieces of information. When combined, this evidence may paint a different picture of events than the one presented by the police. Guidance from competent legal counsel is absolutely essential to doing this effectively since courts will almost always side with law enforcement over criminal defendants when it is just one party’s word against the other’s.
Alternative Resolutions to Disorderly Conduct Cases
Especially for first-time offenders, it is sometimes possible to resolve disorderly conduct charges by arranging participation in the Accelerated Rehabilitation program or other court-sponsored diversionary programs. In other scenarios, an attorney can request that the court drop a defendant’s charges in exchange for the performance of community service or some other non-carceral punishment. It should be emphasized that this kind of outcome is not possible in every case, nor is it always an optimal result even when it is available.
Let a Westport Attorney Help with Defending Disorderly Conduct Charges
Professional legal support is key to effectively defending against any disorderly conduct charges in Westport. This is particularly true in scenarios with conflicting opinions about what happened and a lack of objective evidence supporting either side. If you are facing allegations of this nature, call The Law Offices of Mark Sherman as soon as possible to schedule a private consultation, and click here to read what past clients have to say about working with us.