Disorderly conduct laws differ significantly among states and municipalities, and the type of conduct covered by these laws and ordinances is quite broad. States typically categorize disorderly conduct (sometimes also called “disturbing the peace,” or “breach of the peace”) as any behavior that is likely to cause other people alarm, anger, annoyance, or an increased likelihood to engage in unlawful activity.
To learn more about disorderly conduct in general, see Disorderly Conduct Laws and Penalties.
Arkansas categorizes disorderly conduct into three offenses (although other charges, such as for public intoxication, may also apply).
To learn more about public intoxication and drunk in public crimes in each state, see Public Intoxication Laws and Penalties, and click the link to your state in the section entitled, “Public Intoxication Laws by State.”
In Arkansas, disorderly conduct includes engaging in fighting, violent, or threatening behavior; making an unreasonable noise, using abusive or obscene language, or making an obscene gesture in a public place that is likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response. The offense also includes unlawfully disturbing a lawful public assembly or meeting; obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or congregating with two or more other people in public and refusing to comply with a lawful police order to disperse. Creating a hazardous condition is also a form of disorderly conduct (if you don’t have a legal excuse or justification), as is damaging or desecrating a public patriotic or religious symbol, and exposing one’s private parts in public.
Disorderly conduct is a class C misdemeanor, and penalties include a fine of up to $500, up to 30 days in jail, or both.
(Ar. Code Ann. § 5-71-207.)
It is illegal in Arkansas to teach someone to use or make a firearm, explosive, or similar device when you know that the person you are teaching is going to use the device in furtherance of a civil disorder.
Promoting civil disorder is a class C felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, at least three (and up to ten) years in prison, or both.
(Ar. Code Ann. § 5-71-302.)
In Arkansas, you may not form a group with one or more other people to bar any hallway or door of a campus building, seize control of the building, prevent or disrupt the meeting of any class, or erect a barricade to stop a person or vehicle from passing onto or off campus grounds.
This law does not apply to labor or teachers’ unions.
This offense is a class A misdemeanor, and penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.
(Ar. Code Ann. § 5-71-226.)
Even though misdemeanor offences often seem like they aren’t serious, you face significant potential penalties in Arkansas if you are convicted of any crime, even a misdemeanor. You should always consult an experienced Arkansas criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with a crime, have been approached by the police as a target of an investigation, or need legal advice. Only a local attorney who has dealt with local law enforcement and prosecutors can give you advice about your case.