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New Years Eve: Public Intoxication vs Disorderly Conduct

Brian J Smith Dec. 31, 2014

With New Years Eve rapidly approaching, many in the Las Vegas valley are putting the finishing touches on their party plans. Between drinking cocktails and watching the ball drop as you count down to 2015, it can be easy to lose yourself in all of the festivities that the City of Sin has to offer. While sipping celebratory champagne and ushering in a new year, it’s important to stay out of trouble by knowing the law. It is particularly important for those who are visiting and unfamiliar with Nevada’s liquor laws to know what will and will not result in criminal charges.

Public intoxication

Public Intoxication in Nevada, unlike many other states, is not a punishable offense. As long as an individual is not breaking any other laws, or behaving in a matter that presents a threat to themselves or anyone else, they cannot be arrested simply for being intoxicated in a public place. Any kind of disruptive behavior that accompanies public intoxication, however, can get you into trouble with the law.

Disorderly conduct

When an individual’s public behavior is disruptive or offensive, and affects or prevents others’ enjoyment of a public space, this qualifies as disorderly conduct. Although disorderly conduct and public intoxication often go hand in hand, one does not have to be intoxicated to be guilty of disorderly conduct. Any behavior that infringes on other individuals enjoyment of a public space, including loitering, fighting, being unreasonably noisy, or disturbing the peace, can qualify.

How serious is a disorderly conduct charge?

In many cases, disorderly conduct results in a misdemeanor charge. If an individual is arrested and charged, they may face minor, but inconvenient consequences. The crime is punishable by fines, substance or alcohol abuse education programs, community service, probation, and, in some cases, a short jail sentence.

What to do if you’ve been arrested for disorderly conduct

If you’ve been arrested for any crime, it’s important to contact a lawyer straight away. Even if you don’t believe that you will face too hefty of a penalty, it is important to seek legal advice. An experienced criminal defense attorney will help guide you through the legal process, and make sure you stay on the right side of a disorderly conduct charge.

If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, be sure to contact a reputable defense attorney to get the charges reduced or dismissed. If you are looking for an experienced Las Vegas criminal lawyer, contact Brian J. Smith today at (702) 380-8248 for a consultation.