What Constitutes Disorderly Conduct in Milwaukee?

Criminal charges can be frustrating and confusing. In addition to the criminal charge, you could also face problems at school or work because of the accusations against you.

Disorderly conduct tends to be a charge that officers and prosecutors add to a case because the vague definition fits many situations. When it comes time to defend your case, you will need the support of someone who has a clear understanding of what disorderly conduct is and how to defend against the charges.

Here’s what you should know about how Milwaukee law defines disorderly conduct.

A vague definition

One of the goals of making certain acts crimes is to create a more peaceful community. To discourage activity that others might find upsetting or offensive, lawmakers created the part of the code that covers disorderly conduct.

In Milwaukee, lawmakers include several vague elements, such as:

  • Violence
  • Profane behavior
  • Indecent activity
  • Being unreasonably loud

Both the State of Wisconsin and Milwaukee County have the same definitions of disorderly conduct, including an addition that includes any other conduct that causes a disturbance.

Fulfilling the elements

Since court systems operate on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” it is up to the prosecutor to prove guilt. Part of the prosecution process is demonstrating that you committed each component, or element, of the offense in question.

When you are facing disorderly conduct charges, Wisconsin courts tend to agree that there are two parts of the crime that prosecutors need to establish:

  • That you engaged in one of the types of conduct listed in the statute
  • The circumstances surrounding the conduct

The statute includes some leeway regarding the circumstances of the situation. Disorderly conduct charges can consist of conduct that actually causes a disturbance and can also include conduct that could cause a disturbance.

Unfortunately, there is significant ambiguity in the statute. If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, it is essential to talk to an experienced professional about your options.