Ocean City police, by far, issue and arrest more defendants for Disorderly Conduct and affiliated offenses like disturbing the peace than any other criminal charge during the year. The maximum penalty is 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. It is a must appear citation, unless an arrangement is made with the State’s Attorney’s Office and your lawyer that does not require you to be there. The offense is fact specific and somewhat broad and involves willfully acting in a manner that disturbs the public peace and harmony. It is a requirement that a third party is affected by the disturbance or could be and Attorney Brian H. Clark has successfully represented hundreds of good people charged with this offense. The Ocean City Police and allied agencies throughout Maryland have the discretion to issue a must appear citation or arrest you for a trip to the jail at 65th Street. Either way, you have to appear in Court and resolve this misdemeanor as it is not payable like other states allow. Each year defendants make the mistake of trying to resolve the case themselves, only to be harmed later in life when a potential employer discovers it and you never expunged the case.
Moreover, § 10-201 forbids a person from generally obstructing the passage of another person in a public place or acting in a manner that violates public peace rights. Additionally, citizens are further legally required to obey reasonable and legal orders from law enforcement officers. Certain areas in Maryland also set specific rules that fall under the umbrella of disorderly conduct. For example, in Worcester County, one can be charged with disorderly conduct for building a bonfire between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. on a beach or other public place.
Some of these cases are incorrectly charged and need to be litigated in court. Typical cases involve yelling, cursing and inappropriate behavior in public when impaired by alcohol. The police reports on this type charge needs to be analyzed intensely to determine if am improper arrest occurred because of officer frustration or misapplication of the law to punish the content of your speech, instead of the level of noise your speech reaches to disturb others.