The definition of disorderly conduct varies from state to state. However, most states use the term to criminalize being drunk in public, disturbing the peace, or loitering in certain areas. In Hawaii, disorderly conduct includes various petty annoyances to the public. The table below outlines Hawaii's disorderly conduct law.
|Hawaii Revised Statutes section 711-1101: Disorderly Conduct|
|Intending to cause physical inconvenience or alarm to members of the public, or recklessly causing a risk thereof, by:
|Disorderly conduct is a petty misdemeanor if it is the defendant's intention to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if the defendant persists in disorderly conduct after a reasonable warning or request to desist.|
How Much Noise is Unreasonable Noise?
Hawaii's disorderly conduct statute prohibits intentionally causing physical inconvenience or alarm to members of the public (or recklessly causing a risk thereof) by making unreasonable noise. But how much noise is "unreasonable?"
According to the disorderly conduct statute's commentary, noise is unreasonable if, considering the nature and purpose of the person's conduct, the conduct involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a law abiding citizen would follow in the same situation. This analysis also takes into consideration the nature of the location and the time of day or night when the conduct takes place. Noise is also considered to be unreasonable if the offender continues to make noise after a police officer tells him or her that the noise is unreasonable and should be stopped or reduced.
The right to free speech is protected in America's Constitution, however, some types of speech fall outside the bounds of this constitutional protection. Hawaii's disorderly conduct statute makes it illegal to intentionally alarm members of the public by subjecting another person to offensively course behavior or language that is likely to provoke a violent response.
This limitation on speech is only meant to apply to obscene and scatological language, and not to speech that is political or religiously offensive. In this way, Hawaii's disorderly conduct law only limits speech that isn't protected by the Constitution.
State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Hawaii's disorderly conduct laws contact a local criminal defense lawyer.
Contact a qualified attorney.