Vermont Disorderly Conduct Laws

Being obnoxiously drunk in public may seem like a right of passage to most people learning the delicate art of bar hopping. However, in most states, public safety violations tend to be "catch alls" that allow police to keep citizens from causing this type of unruly conduct. Vermont disorderly conduct laws try to control this behavior by making it a crime to intentionally inconvenience or annoy others in public. This is a quick summary of the disorderly conduct laws in Vermont.

The Different Degrees Of Vermont Disorderly Conduct Laws

Vermont disorderly conduct laws elevate this "breach of the peace" crime to an aggravated disorderly conduct charge under certain circumstances. A conviction for a crime of "aggravated disorderly conduct" more than doubles the jail time and fines that a violator may potentially receive. Second offenders of these crimes may also face a possibility of much stiffer sentences.

The following table outlines the specifics of Vermont disorderly conduct laws.

Code Sections

13 V.S.A. §1026: Disorderly Conduct

13 V.S.A. §1026a: Aggravated Disorderly Conduct

What's Prohibited?

Following Vermont disorderly conduct laws, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct if he or she, with intent to cause public inconvenience or annoyance:

  • Engages in fighting or in violent, threatening behavior;

  • Makes unreasonable noise;

  • Uses abusive or obscene language;

  • Without lawful authority, disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or

  • Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

Aggravated Disorderly Conduct

Vermont disorderly conduct laws also provide an enhanced version of the crime. A person is guilty of aggravated disorderly conduct if he or she engages in conduct directed at a specific person with the intent to cause inconvenience or annoyance, or to disturb the person's peace, quiet, or right of privacy and:

  • Engages in fighting or in violent, threatening behavior;

  • Makes unreasonable noise;

  • Uses abusive or obscene language in public; or

  • Threatens bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or to commit a felony crime of violence.

Penalties

A person convicted of "disorderly conduct" will be punished by up to 60 days in prison, fined up to $500, or both.

A person convicted of "aggravated disorderly conduct" will be punished by up to 180 days in prison, fined up to $2,000, or both.

Second Offenders

A person convicted of a second or subsequent "disorderly conduct" charge will be punished by up to 120 days in prison, fined up to $1,000, or both.

If you have been accused of violating disorderly conduct laws and would like legal assistance, you can contact a Vermont criminal defense lawyer through FindLaw. Visit FindLaw's sections on disorderly conduct and public safety violations for more articles and information on this topic.

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