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West Virginia Disorderly Conduct Laws

Every state has laws that criminalize behavior that disturbs the peace or causes public disturbances. Many states, such as West Virginia, have disorderly conduct laws that prohibit varies types of disruptive conduct, such as fighting in public or making excessive noise. The table below outlines West Virginia's disorderly conduct law.

Code Section

West Virginia Code section 61-6-1b: Disorderly Conduct

What's Prohibited?

 

Disturbing the peace of others by:

  • Violent, profane, indecent, or boisterous conduct or language, or
  • Making unreasonably loud noise that is intended to cause annoyance or alarm to another person

And persisting in such conduct after a law enforcement officer requests the offender to desist.

Where is this Conduct Prohibited?

Disorderly conduct is prohibited in:
  • Any public place
  • Any office or office building in West Virginia
  • The state capitol complex
  • Any property owned, leased, occupied, or controlled by the state of West Virginia
  • Any mobile home park
  • Any public parking area
  • The common area of apartment buildings or dormitories, and
  • The common area of a privately owned commercial shopping centers, malls, or other groups of commercial retail establishments

Penalties

 

Misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for 24 hours or a fine of up to $400.

Caveat

Nothing in this law should be construed as deterrence to the lawful and orderly public right to demonstrate in support or protect of public policy issues.

Related Crimes

In West Virginia there are several other crimes that are closely related to disorderly conduct. For example, disturbing religious worship, disturbing schools or other societies, and willfully disrupting the governmental process are all crimes in West Virginia.

Disturbance of Religious Worship: It is a crime to willfully interrupt, molest, or disturb any assembly of people who are gathered to worship God.

Disturbance of Schools, Societies, and Other Assemblies: It is illegal to willfully interrupt, molest, or disturb any lawful school or meeting for:

  • Intellectual, social, or moral improvement
  • Improvement in music
  • Any moral or social amusement
  • Any other society organized in pursuance of the laws of West Virginia
  • Any fourth of July celebration, Christmas tree, church festival, or other festival, or
  • Any other society

Willful Disruption of Governmental Process: It is a crime to willfully interrupt or molest the orderly and peaceful process of any department, division, agency, or branch of state government.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information about West Virginia's disorderly conduct laws contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

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