If you’ve recently sent your son or daughter off to college, you may have already covered rules about underage drinking and possession.

However, there is one charge that can easily be forgotten. A growing number of Pennsylvania students are facing conduct violations, such as disorderly conduct charges.

Defining disorderly conduct

College parties have a reputation for being rowdy. If a complaint is made, that rowdiness can easily lead to disorderly conduct charges. Generally, disorderly conduct constitutes any action that may disturb the peace in public a place. 

Conditions to charge an individual or individuals for disorderly conduct in Pennsylvania include the following behavior:

  • Creating an unreasonable amount of noise
  • Fighting, threats or other violence
  • Obscene language or gestures in public areas
  • Constructing hazardous conditions without legitimate purpose

Penalties for disorderly conduct charges

Authorities can detain individuals for disorderly behavior. In Pennsylvania, disorderly conduct charges are usually classified as a summary offense.

A summary offense is punishable by up to ninety days of jail time and/or a fine of between $25 and $1,500.

Will a summary offense impact an individual’s criminal record?

Summary offenses can be found during criminal record history checks conducted by potential employers.

Heightened disorderly conduct charges

Disorderly conduct can be charged as a third-degree misdemeanor under certain circumstances. Heightened charges may be issued, for example, if the defendant had intentions to harm others or ignored requests to stop the disorderly conduct.

A third-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania is punishable by up to one year of jail time and/or a fine up to $2,500.

Keeping your criminal record clean

If you or your son or daughter is facing disorderly, talk to an attorney about the charges. A lawyer can help lay out you understand your rights and the legal options they constitute.