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Will Disorderly Conduct Charges Affect Your Child’s Future?

Upset teenager leaning against wall
March 23, 2021 | Written by Dan Margolis

In Ohio, disorderly conduct is a standard charge for those making noise, fighting, or acting in a way that disturbs the public. Because police often target children, teens, and young adults with catch-all charges like disorderly conduct, many Ohio parents are left wondering whether disorderly conduct will negatively affect their child’s future.

Sadly, the answer is yes. But keep in mind that a charge is different from a conviction. So, if your child has been charged with disorderly conduct or offered a plea that involves accepting a disorderly conduct conviction, there is still hope.

Read on to learn more about juvenile disorderly conduct charges in Ohio. And to speak with a Cleveland defense lawyer, call The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis at (216) 533-9533. Free & confidential consultations are available.

What Is Disorderly Conduct in Ohio?

A minor misdemeanor in Ohio, disorderly conduct is a broad charge that covers many actions. Here are some common examples of activities that can lead to disorderly conduct charges:

  • Fighting or making threats of violence
  • Making loud noises or offensive gestures
  • Taunting or insulting someone to evoke a violent response
  • Blocking a public road
  • Being intoxicated in public

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct

For adults, a simple disorderly conduct conviction can lead to a mark on their record and a $150 fine. But aggravating factors can turn disorderly conduct into a fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and $250 in fines:

  • You continued the alleged conduct after being asked to stop
  • You allegedly did the act in the presence of a police officer or other emergency services worker while they were on duty
  • You allegedly did the conduct near a school or school safety zone

That last item can be of concern for juveniles who are charged in educational settings.

Disorderly Conduct as a Juvenile Charge

Children and teens can still be charged with a minor misdemeanor for disorderly conduct. But the punishments are different for juvenile offenders. In Ohio juvenile criminal defense law, these punishments are called “dispositions.”

Here are the potential dispositions for a juvenile disorderly conduct charge:

  • Supervised or unsupervised probation
  • Reprimand from the judge
  • Placement in a community program

These consequences may sound somewhat minor. Keep in mind that such a juvenile charge can affect your child’s chances of getting a job or going to certain schools.

Also, there is the issue of the permanent mark on your child’s record. There is good news, though. In almost all cases, juvenile disorderly conduct can be sealed and later expunged from your child’s record. Getting disorderly conduct charges expunged in Ohio is possible. But it requires a lot of paperwork and jumping through hoops.

A Defense Attorney Can Help

From the day your juvenile or young adult child is charged with disorderly conduct, they need to be speaking with a trusted defense attorney. A lawyer can help you understand the law, avoid harsh punishments, or get the charge expunged.

The earlier an attorney can get involved, the better your child’s chances of avoiding key mistakes that could affect their future. For instance, a lawyer will often negotiate more severe charges down to disorderly conduct. If your teen doesn’t know this is an option, they may think they are stuck with the more severe charge. A lawyer can ensure your child is treated fairly throughout the process.

Contact The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis

Yes, disorderly conduct can affect your child’s future. But that’s only if the charge becomes a conviction. An experienced juvenile defense lawyer can make sure that doesn’t happen.

To speak with The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC, call (216) 533-9533 or contact us online.

Attorney Margolis is not currently providing free consultations nor accepting new clients. Please be advised that contact form submissions and calls may not be returned.
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