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Can I Be Arrested for Playing Loud Music in Wisconsin?

 Posted on June 29, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Waukesha, WI criminal defense lawyerOne of the keys to a functioning society is maintaining a certain level of decency and civility. This means discouraging inappropriate public behavior that affects others. For example, sexual or obscene behavior, while perfectly legal in private, should not be done in public.

To prevent such behavior, Wisconsin has disorderly conduct laws. However, as this article will discuss, disorderly conduct is a vague term that can apply to a range of scenarios. Playing loud music, for example, can be considered disorderly conduct depending on the setting, time of day, and decibel level.

If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, make sure your rights are protected. Contact a Wisconsin disorderly conduct lawyer right away to start building your case.

What Is Disorderly Conduct?

Wisconsin law defines disorderly conduct as "violent, abusive, indecent, unreasonably loud, or other behavior where the conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance." This is a vague definition that has broad applications. It is often up to the discretion of the police whether an act is considered disorderly conduct.

How Is Disorderly Conduct Punished?

Disorderly conduct is a Class B misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. This can change, however, if you have a criminal record and this is not your first offense. It can also change depending on how your behavior affects other people.

What Are Some Examples of Disorderly Conduct?

The law itself offers two examples of disorderly conduct:

  • Appearing naked on stage to get a reaction from the audience

  • Refusing an order from a police officer to move

Other behaviors may also be seen as disorderly conduct:

  • Playing loud music: This usually depends on when, where, and how loud the music is. If you are having a dance party in the park, you are not likely to be arrested for disorderly conduct. If you play that same music late at night in front of an apartment building, you may be arrested for disorderly conduct.

  • Fighting in public: Unlike playing loud music, assault is itself a crime. Someone who commits physical violence in public can be charged with both assault and disorderly conduct.

  • Obscene behavior: Like the loud music scenario, obscene behavior is not in itself a crime. You are free, for example, to use swear words in private. Shouting them at children, however, can be considered disorderly conduct.

Contact a Waukesha, WI Disorderly Conduct Defense Attorney

Disorderly conduct is broadly defined, and it is up to law enforcement to decide whether your behavior is a violation. To protect your rights, hire an Oconomowoc, WI disorderly conduct defense lawyer. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, our attorneys are familiar with disorderly conduct laws and aggressively defend our clients’ rights. Call 262-232-6699 for a free consultation and excellent legal service today.

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