Georgia Disorderly Conduct Laws

Overview of Georgia's Disorderly Conduct Laws

Laws against disorderly conduct, such as disturbing the peace, exist to prevent people from disturbing the peace of others while they are tending to their daily business and personal affairs. Some of the most common acts include inciting a riot, disturbing the peace, loitering in certain areas fighting / physical altercations, obstructing traffic use of extremely obscene or abusive language loud or unreasonable noise. Virtually any socially offensive or disruptive conduct may be prosecuted as disorderly conduct.

Drunk In Public Offense

Although closely related, public intoxication (public drunkenness) is a separate offense under Georgia criminal law. Public drunkenness can happen when you are intoxicated in any public place or private home, which is not your own, and act in a way that is boisterous and disruptive, using language considered to be vulgar, profane, and loud or appearing in an indecent condition (such as nude or partially nude) or performing an indecent act (such as public urination). Your behavior and demeanor will be a key component of the charges.

This crime is misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and 1 year in prison.

The following table highlights the main provisions of the Georgia's disorderly conduct laws. See Disturbing the Peace and Public Safety Violations for more information.

Code Sections

Disorderly Conduct: O.C.G.A. ยง16-11-39

What is Prohibited

A person who commits disorderly conduct either: acts in a violent manner in a public place toward another person causing reasonable fear of safety; puts that person's property in danger of being damaged or destroyed; without provocation uses abusive or inciting words to another person intended to provoke violence or escalate a situation (also called "fighting words"), without provocation uses obscene or vulgar language to a child under 14 years of age.


Misdemeanor, up to one year in jail and maximum fine of $1000, possible probation, community service, or an alcohol awareness class.

Hiring a Lawyer

While disorderly conduct is not one of the more serious charges you could ever face, it should not be taken lightly. You could face time in jail, heavy fines and a blemish on your criminal record. If you are applying for a job or want to enroll in college, they may not want to accept you if you have been convicted of disorderly conduct.

Get a Free Criminal Case Review

Disorderly conduct is a general, "catch-all" charge for various actions. If you or someone you love has been charged with the crime, your best option is to work with an attorney to craft a solid defense. Get started today with a free initial case evaluation by an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney.

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