Virginia Disorderly Conduct Laws and Punishments

Disorderly conduct generally refers to unruly or obnoxious conduct in a public place. Even though each state has its own definition of what constitutes disorderly conduct, it can include anything from disturbing the peace to public intoxication. In Virginia, disorderly conduct falls under the general category of crimes against peace and order. Other crimes in this category include riot and unlawful assembly, abusive and insulting language, and picketing of dwelling places, to name a few.

Virginia Disorderly Conduct Laws and Punishments at a Glance

When you have a question about the law, your best bet is to read the actual statute. But this can be a daunting task since most statutes are written in hard-to-understand "legalese." For this reason, reading a summary of the statute in plain English can be very helpful to get a better understanding of the law. The following chart provides a summary of Virginia disorderly conduct laws and punishments and links to relevant statutes.

Statute(s)

Virginia Code Section 18.2-415 (Disorderly Conduct in Public Places)

What's Prohibited?

It's prohibited for a person to either (1) intend to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or (2) recklessly create a risk while engaging in any of the following acts:

  • While in a public place, engage in conduct that has a direct tendency to cause an act of violence by the people the conduct is directed at;
  • Willfully or while intoxicated disrupt a funeral, memorial service, or a meeting of a government body, literary society, school, or place of worship in a way that either (1) interferes with the orderly conduct of the funeral, memorial service, or meeting, or (2) has a direct tendency to cause an act of violence by the people the disruption is directed at; or
  • Willfully or while intoxicated disrupt a school or a school-sponsored activity in a way that either (1) interferes with the orderly conduct of the activity, or (2) has a direct tendency to cause an act of violence by the people the disruption is directed at.
Charges and Punishments

Violation of Virginia's disorderly conduct laws is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Related Statute(s)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Virginia Disorderly Conduct Laws and Punishments: Related Resources

If you'd like additional information and resources related to this topic, you can visit the links below.

Learn More About Virginia Disorderly Conduct Laws and Punishments From a Lawyer

While disorderly conduct is generally on the less serious scale of crimes a person can commit, any criminal convictions could potentially have a negative impact on your life. That's why it's always a good idea to contact a local criminal defense attorney if you've been charged under Virginia disorderly conduct laws or any other criminal laws.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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