In Massachusetts, under M.G.L. c. 272, § 53, a person can be convicted of disorderly conduct if the Commonwealth succeeds in proving three things beyond a reasonable doubt. First, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant involved himself or herself in at least one of the following actions: he or she either engaged in fighting or threatening, or engaged in violent or tumultuous behavior or created a hazardous or physically offensive condition by an act that served no legitimate purpose of the defendant’s; Second, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant’s actions were reasonably likely to affect the public; and Third, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant either intended to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly created a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. However, if a person has LEGITIMATE reasons for his or her actions, they are not guilty of disorderly conduct.
The first conviction for Disorderly Conduct carries the following potential penalties:
- fine of not more than $150
A subsequent conviction for this offense carries the following potential penalties:
- imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 6 months
- fine of not more than $200
- both fine and imprisonment
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, contact our office immediately: