In an effort to promote and maintain public safety, Illinois enforces certain laws that prohibit disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct can take many different forms and isn’t always easy to pinpoint. What one court may consider illegal may simply incur a warning in another court. Regardless, if you’ve been arrested on the grounds of disorderly conduct, it can be helpful to understand the state’s laws for such a charge.

Our firm’s knowledge of Illinois laws comes from a dedication to criminal law and over four decades spent actively representing clients. We can determine the validity of your disorderly conduct charges and craft a defense on your behalf.

Representation is a phone call away at (630) 474-8000.


Most people assume that alcohol-related charges are the only ones associated with disorderly conduct. In reality, this is actually far from the truth. Anything that causes unreasonable public distress can incur a disorderly conduct charge.

All of the following actions may be illegal:

  • Falsely reporting an explosive device
  • Falsely reporting a fire
  • Unlawfully entering another individual’s property
  • Employing intimidation tactics as a debt collector
  • Falsely reporting an abused or neglected child
  • Asking for emergency response services when there is no legitimate need for them

Before assigning a punishment, the circumstances of your offense will be assessed. Disorderly conduct may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony offense and the prosecutor will examine the nature and effects of the alleged behavior when determining how to charge you. For example, breaching the peace with public intoxication, loud shouting, or other disruptions will likely be charged as a Class C misdemeanor, which is the least serious class of offenses. On the other hand, school threats, false crime reports, or false child abuse reports can be Class 4 felonies, and a false bomb report is generally charged as a Class 3 felony. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you should still have a skilled defense attorney on your side.

A misdemeanor charge can incur up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Even if you do not receive a jail sentence, you may be required to complete a period of probation that may have strict conditions. If your offense is a felony, you could face up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

In addition to court-imposed fines and/or jail time, a disorderly conduct conviction can affect your life in many other lasting ways. A conviction can go on your criminal record, which potential employers, landlords, educational institutions, and professional licensing boards can access. You can imagine that people may not want someone who acted disorderly working for their company or living in their apartment building, so this conviction can reduce many future opportunities. It is critical to avoid a conviction on your record whenever possible and we will fight for that outcome.

Building a Strong Defense for Every Client

Defense strategies can vary widely from one disorderly conduct case to the next. This is because there are so many acts that can lead to disorderly conduct charges and a strong defense is developed based on the specific circumstances of each case. For instance, if you were arrested for allegedly obnoxious behavior, a defense attorney can argue that your behavior did not rise to the level of disorderly conduct under the law. An attorney can argue that someone accused of a false report honestly believed that the report was true. If the charges are unfounded, there are many different arguments to have your charges dismissed. If your charges are not dismissed, an attorney can fight against wrongful charges at a jury trial.

In some cases, reaching a favorable plea agreement is the best option in a disorderly conduct case. Our defense lawyers know how to negotiate with prosecutors to keep a conviction off your record, reduce your charges, or recommend a lesser sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. Pleading guilty is a serious and complicated decision, however, and you should only do so after carefully reviewing and understanding all of your options with your defense lawyer.

Our attorneys understand how to work to reduce the effect of a criminal case on your life. We can negotiate for probation instead of jail time or court supervision, which can keep a conviction off your record. We bring our years of experience and knowledge of the law to every case, whether it is a misdemeanor or serious felony.


There are numerous possible defenses to your disorderly conduct charges and finding the most effective one is critical. Since opening our doors, we’ve spent our time honing our skills to become as effective as possible for our clients. At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we are always committed to your best interests.

Reach out to us at (630) 474-8000 as soon as possible for your complimentary case evaluation and award-winning representation. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin working on your defense.