We all like to have fun on vacation, and many people enjoy coming to South Carolina for its beaches and other tourist destinations. When you are on vacation with family and friends, things can sometimes get a little out of control, especially if alcohol is involved.
All it takes is one situation to get out of hand and you could find yourself facing a disorderly conduct charge and wondering what exactly that means and what penalties you are facing.
The definition of disorderly conduct
Under South Carolina law, disorderly conduct is:
- Behaving in a disorderly or boisterous manner
- Public intoxication
- Using obscene language on a highway, within hearing distance of church or school or in any public place
- Firing a gun within 50 yards of a public road while intoxicated without justifiable cause
While these are the technical definitions, many times, people are charged with disorderly conduct after a simple fight, argument or incident that just went a little too far. A disorderly conduct charge may also be thrown on top of other charges as an added charge.
Penalties for disorderly conduct
Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor. If you are convicted, you might go jail or prison for 30 days and have to pay a maximum fine of $100.
No one expects to go on vacation and end up having to spend 30 days in jail there based on one unfortunate incident. Therefore, it is important to prepare a strong defense to a disorderly conduct charge.
In addition to the potential jail time, a conviction would mean you now have a criminal record, which can destroy the rest of your life. You may lose your job upon return home and have fewer educational and employment opportunities, along with damage to your reputation.
Defending yourself against a disorderly conduct charge
There are defenses to a disorderly conduct charge. The prosecution must prove you were intoxicated or in public if the offense involves those elements or must have direct evidence that your behavior was disorderly.
You should not have to come back from vacation with a criminal record. A criminal defense attorney can review the specific aspects of the situation that caused your charge and help you prepare a defense.