Maine Disorderly Conduct Laws

In each state, there are disorderly conduct laws that that make it a crime to disturb the peace. In some states, these laws prohibit being drunk in public, making unreasonable noise, or loitering in certain areas. The table below outlines Maine's disorderly conduct law.

Code Section

Maine Revised Statutes section 501-A: Disorderly Conduct

What's Prohibited?

In a public place, intentionally or recklessly causing annoyance to others by intentionally:

  • Making loud and unreasonable noises
  • Activating a device, or exposing a substance, that releases noxious and offensive odors, or
  • Engaging in fighting (without being licensed or privileged to do so)

In a public or private place, knowingly accosting, insulting, taunting, or challenging any person with offensive, derisive or annoying words, or by gestures or other physical conduct, that would tend to cause a violence response by an ordinary person so accosted, insulted, taunted, or challenged.

In a private place, making loud and unreasonable noise that can be heard by another person, as unreasonable noise in a public place or in another private place, after having been ordered by a law enforcement officer to cease the noise, or

In a private or public place on or near property where a funeral, burial, or memorial service is being held, knowingly accosting, insulting, taunting, or challenging, any person in mourning and in attendance at the funeral, burial, or memorial service with unwanted, obtrusive communications by way of offensive, derisive or annoying words, or by gestures or other physical conduct, that would tend to cause a violence response by an ordinary person in mourning and in attendance at a funeral, burial, or memorial service.

Penalties

Disorderly conduct is a Class E crime that is punishable by up to six months in jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Crimes Related to Disorderly Conduct

Failure to disperse: When six or more people are engaging in disorderly conduct that is likely to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, a law enforcement officer may order the participants and others in the immediate area to disperse. Knowingly failing to comply with this order to disperse is a crime.

Riot: Together with five or more other people, engaging in disorderly conduct:

  • With the intent imminently to commit or facilitate the commission of a crime involving physical injury or property damages against people who aren't participants, or
  • When the offender or any other participant to his knowledge uses or intends to use a firearm or other dangerous weapon in the course of the disorderly conduct.

Unlawful assembly: Assembling with five or more other people with the intent to engage in a riot (or being present at an assembly that either has or develops a purpose to engage in a riot) and remaining there with the intent to advance the riot after knowingly failing to comply with an order to disperse given by a law enforcement officer.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Maine's disorderly conduct law contact a local criminal defense attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.