In Kentucky, a disorderly conduct charge may arise from a wide variety of conduct, including fighting in a public place, playing loud music, refusing to leave the scene of an accident as a bystander, or even protesting at a funeral service. A charge of disorderly conduct requires the state to prove a number of specific facts. An experienced attorney should examine your case to determine which facts can be disputed.
Disorderly Conduct 1st Degree KRS 525.055
Kentucky has two statutes prohibiting disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct in the first degree is outlawed under KRS 525.055, and disorderly conduct in the second degree is outlawed under KRS 525.060. In order to be prosecuted for disorderly conduct, you must (1) engage in fighting or in violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior; (2) Make unreasonable noise; or (3) create a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose. The conduct must occur in a public place, which is defined under KRS 525.010 as “a place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access.” Examples of public places include highways, transportation facilities, schools, places of amusement, parks, places of business, playgrounds, and hallways, lobbies, and other portions of apartment buildings or hotels. In addition to being in a public place, the conduct must also intentionally or wantonly cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm. Under KRS 525.010, “public” means that the conduct affects or is likely to affect a substantial group of persons.
Disorderly Conduct 2nd Degree KRS 525.060
Disorderly conduct in the second degree also prohibits a refusal to obey an official order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard, or other emergency. The conduct prohibited as disorderly conduct in the second degree (with the exception of refusal to obey an official order) can be prosecuted as disorderly conduct in the first degree if the conduct occurs within 300 feet of (1) a cemetery during a funeral or burial; (2) a funeral home during the viewing of a deceased person; (3) a funeral procession; (4) a funeral or memorial service, or (5) a building in which a funeral or memorial service is being conducted. In addition, the defendant must commit the act within one hour before or after the event, and they must know that they are within 300 feet of such an event.
Disorderly Conduct Misdemeanor Penalties in Kentucky
Disorderly conduct in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail. Disorderly conduct in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail.