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Illinois Disorderly Conduct Laws

Overview of Illinois Disorderly Conduct Laws

Disorderly conduct laws focus on public safety. In Illinois disorderly conduct law prohibits disturbing the peace or engaging in unreasonable conduct that alarms or disturbs others. For example, someone might disturb the peace by yelling or arguing in a public place.

Besides prohibiting disorderly conduct, the state also makes illegal other specific acts because those acts could waste public resources or unnecessarily cause public fear or stress. Accordingly, Illinois state laws include several other types of acts that qualify as disorderly conduct:

  • making a false report of a fire or fire alarm
  • making a false report of a bomb or explosive device
  • making a false report of a crime in progress or a past crime, or requesting emergency response services while knowing that assistance is unnecessary
  • making a false report about an abused or neglected child
  • making a false report to the Department of Public Health
  • entering another person's property to look into a dwelling for a lewd or otherwise unlawful purpose
  • using harassment or intimidation as a debt collector or collection agent

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct Charges

  • Self-defense or defense of another person
  • First Amendment right to freedom of speech
  • Entrapment or outrageous police conduct

Penalties and Sentences

Illinois state laws determine the penalty for a conviction of disorderly conduct based on the type of charge. A misdemeanor charge can result in a sentence of imprisonment for up to 30 days, six months, or one year, depending on whether the state charges the offense as a Class C, Class B, or Class A misdemeanor. The state may also impose a fine in a maximum amount between $1,500 and $2,500.

Disorderly conduct charged as a felony may result in an increased punishment. A Class 4 felony may result in a term of imprisonment for one to three years, while a Class 3 felony can lead to a sentence of two to five years. For a Class 3 felony, the Illinois disorderly conduct laws specifically require a fine in an amount between $3,000 and $10,000.

For each sentence, state law requires an additional penalty of 30 to 120 hours of community service if available in the local area.

Illinois Disorderly Conduct Statute

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 section 26-1--26-6 (scroll down for sections)

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact an Illinois criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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