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Disorderly conduct calls in Ocean City, Maryland are on the upswing

| Aug 19, 2020 | criminal defense |

In an update on Ocean City, Maryland police activity for July, the police chief told the Ocean City Police Commission that disorderly calls increased from 487 in July 2019 to 656 last month, an Ocean City, Maryland newspaper, The Dispatch, has reported.

While disorderly conduct is a common charge in a coastal town like Ocean City, Maryland, especially during the summer when the town sees an influx of tourists seeking sun and fun, the specifics of the charge can be a bit vague. Maryland law enforcement often uses it as a “catch-all” for public disturbances. Common examples of Ocean City, Maryland disorderly conduct charges include bar fights, public arguments and public intoxication.

Two women were recently arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, among other charges, according to The Dispatch.

In the first instance, an Ocean City woman was arrested “on a slew of charges” after getting kicked out of an Ocean City bar. She was accused of “annoying other patrons by attempting to climb on the bar” and asked to leave many times but refused. Ocean City Police were called to the scene and she reportedly screamed expletives and ran back and forth across the street. She fought with police, at one point kicking an officer, and had to be physically carried to the prisoner transport van by two officers, according to the news report. She reportedly continued to scream during the altercation and attracted the attention of a number of people. She was charged with assault, trespassing, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstructing and hindering, disturbing the peace, noise violations and a handful of citations related to running across the roadway.

In the second instance, an Ocean City woman was arrested on assault and disorderly conduct last week after allegedly punching her boyfriend at a downtown pizza parlor during an argument.

In general, an Ocean City, Maryland disorderly conduct charge is based on acting willfully in a way that disturbs the public peace and involves conduct that happens in a public place.

Although disorderly conduct is similar to disturbing the peace, there is a difference between the two misdemeanors. Maryland has a separate law for the charge of disturbing the peace.

The disorderly conduct law is listed under “crimes against public health, conduct and sensibilities.”

Maryland’s disorderly conduct law forbids several types of actions, including:

  • Intentionally obstructing the passage of people into a public place such as a building, parking lot, street, theater, school, etc. or on a public bus, airplane, train or school bus;
  • Intentionally acting in a manner that disturbs the peace of the public;
  • Willfully disobeying a reasonable order from a police officer to prevent a disturbance of the peace;
  • Making an unreasonable loud noise to disturb the peace of another in a public place;
  • Entering the premises of another person for the purpose of disturbing the peace by making an unreasonably loud noise or acting in a disorderly manner.

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor that can be punished by up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500.

A conviction of public intoxication can result in up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $100.

Repeated disorderly convictions, especially those that involve alcohol use, can lead to stiffer penalties.

An Ocean City disorderly conduct lawyer can help you with your disorderly conduct charge. An experienced Ocean City disorderly conduct attorney can go over the facts of your case to determine the best defense. The consultation is free.

The Law Office of Thomas J. Maronick is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Ocean City and surrounding areas, Baltimore city and Baltimore county legal needs. We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 410-885-1775, the law office at 410-885-1775 or via our website for a free consultation.

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