In Texas, disorderly conduct is a crime that contemplates a wide array of alleged behavior. Under the relevant statute, cited below, you can be charged with disorderly conduct if it’s alleged that you’ve engaged in any of the eleven prohibited actions that are listed. These include: using offensive language, giving someone “the finger,” creating an “unreasonable” noise or odor, threatening or fighting someone in a public place, displaying or discharging a firearm (under certain circumstances), or exposing yourself in public. Typically, disorderly conduct is considered a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by fine only of up to $500. However, if the alleged act of disorderly conduct violates one of the firearm-related portions of the statute, it’s considered a Class B misdemeanor, for which the penalty range is up to 180 days in the county jail, and a fine of up to $2000 dollars.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with disorderly conduct, you should contact the Dallas criminal defense lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. at 214.827.2800, or use the “Get Legal Help Now!” form located in the left margin of this web page. Free consultation. Our lawyers have been handling allegations of disorderly conduct for over 15 years. Se habla español.
Texas Penal Code Section 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:
(1) uses abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;
(2) makes an offensive gesture or display in a public place, and the gesture or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;
(3) creates, by chemical means, a noxious and unreasonable odor in a public place;
(4) abuses or threatens a person in a public place in an obviously offensive manner;
(5) makes unreasonable noise in a public place other than a sport shooting range, as defined by Section 250.001, Local Government Code, or in or near a private residence that he has no right to occupy;
(6) fights with another in a public place;
(7) discharges a firearm in a public place other than a public road or a sport shooting range, as defined by Section 250.001, Local Government Code;
(8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm;
(9) discharges a firearm on or across a public road;
(10) exposes his anus or genitals in a public place and is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act; or
(11) for a lewd or unlawful purpose:
(A) enters on the property of another and looks into a dwelling on the property through any window or other opening in the dwelling;
(B) while on the premises of a hotel or comparable establishment, looks into a guest room not the person’s own through a window or other opening in the room; or
(C) while on the premises of a public place, looks into an area such as a restroom or shower stall or changing or dressing room that is designed to provide privacy to a person using the area.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(4) that the actor had significant provocation for his abusive or threatening conduct.
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) an act is deemed to occur in a public place or near a private residence if it produces its offensive or proscribed consequences in the public place or near a private residence; and
(2) a noise is presumed to be unreasonable if the noise exceeds a decibel level of 85 after the person making the noise receives notice from a magistrate or peace officer that the noise is a public nuisance.
(d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless committed under Subsection (a)(7) or (a)(8), in which event it is a Class B misdemeanor.
(e) It is a defense to prosecution for an offense under Subsection (a)(7) or (9) that the person who discharged the firearm had a reasonable fear of bodily injury to the person or to another by a dangerous wild animal as defined by Section 822.101, Health and Safety Code.
(f) Subsections (a)(1), (2), (3), (5), and (6) do not apply to a person who, at the time the person engaged in conduct prohibited under the applicable subdivision, was a student in the sixth grade or a lower grade level, and the prohibited conduct occurred at a public school campus during regular school hours.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 181, ch. 89, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4641, ch. 800, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 145, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 318, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 389, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 691, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2011.