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Drunk and Disorderly Conduct During Halloween: What are the Laws?

Halloween is a time of mischief and celebration, but certain actions can mean that holiday fun might lead to legal consequences. Here, the criminal attorneys at Alperstein & Diener explain what you need to know about public drunkenness and disorderly conduct before celebrating on Halloween.

Laws on Public Drunkenness

Public intoxication is a crime in the state of Maryland. This is defined as being intoxicated or drinking alcoholic beverages in public, and either endangering the safety of a person or property, or causing a public disturbance. It is a misdemeanor, and potential legal consequences could include a $100 fine, up to 90 days in jail, or both, depending on the severity of the case and the judge’s discretion.

While public intoxication is a relatively minor crime, it is often charged concurrently with other, more serious, crimes. The most common include assault, malicious destruction, vandalism, breaking and entering, disorderly conduct and DUI. If charged with any of these offenses it is advisable to retain legal counsel, who can help you understand your legal options and prepare your defense.

Laws on Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is a more general charge, and can include a range of activities, such as: obstructing a person’s passage in a public place, making loud or excessive noise, acting in an offensive manner, unlawful picketing or ignoring an officer’s order made to prevent disturbance of the peace. Whatever the offending act, it is most often committed in a public place, although in Maryland, a disorderly home, which causes excessive noise or offensive actions to be heard by the public, can also be considered a legal offence. For an action to be categorized as disorderly conduct, it must annoy, disturb or offend another person.

Disorderly conduct is also a misdemeanor, and the penalty includes a potential 60 days in jail, and a fine of $500. Failing to leave a public building upon request is another form of disorderly conduct, punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1000 fine, or both.

Seek Legal Help to Prevent Small Mistakes from Becoming Major Problems

Knowing Maryland’s laws on disorderly conduct and public drunkenness is important before enjoying Halloween with friends and family. However, at Alperstein & Diener, we believe that foolish mistakes or light-hearted fun should not ruin a person’s life forever. If you are charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, or any other misdemeanor, know that the dedicated and experienced attorneys at Alperstein & Diener want to help fight for your rights in court. For more information, contact us today.