In Iowa, individuals can be arrested for disorderly conduct when they engage in a variety of different activities. Disorderly conduct includes any public behavior that may offend other people. The disorderly conduct statute is broad and includes multiple types of conduct.
How Iowa defines disorderly conduct
The police can charge someone with disorderly conduct when he or she:
- Fights or acts violently in public or near a gathering of other people
- Makes excessive noise near a home or business
- Makes threats or uses abusive language to someone else when doing so is likely to provoke a violent reaction
- Disrupts a meeting or lawful assembly
- Makes a false report of a catastrophe, such as a fire or a bomb
- Knowingly and publicly disrespects the U.S. flag
This statute is very broad, and charges under the various subsections may be constitutionally challenged depending on the circumstances. For example, if a police officer arrests and charges you for using a curse word directed at him or her, your criminal defense may include challenging the application of the law on constitutional grounds. Similarly, the excessive noise subsection may be challenged if you are pulled over and charged for playing loud music in your vehicle.
Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor that carries a potential sentence of a maximum of 30 days in jail and a fine of $65 to $650. People who are charged with disorderly conduct may benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can review their charges. It may be possible for an attorney to convince a prosecutor to dismiss these types of charges when it appears to be warranted. A lawyer may also be able to file a motion to challenge disorderly conduct charges on constitutional grounds.