711 West Moreland Boulevard, #100A, Waukesha, WI 53188
Facebook Twitter Linkedin


Bucher Law Group, LLC

When Can Someone Be Charged With Disorderly Conduct in Wisconsin?

 Posted on December 22, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Racine County Disorderly Conduct Attorney
In the state of Wisconsin, disorderly conduct is a charge that can be levied against people who engage in violent behavior, abusive actions, indecent or profane words or actions, boisterous behavior, or other types of behavior that cause others to be disturbed or frightened. This broad definition allows for a wide range of actions to potentially fall under this category. For those who face criminal charges related to disorderly conduct, an experienced attorney can provide legal representation and help determine the best options for defense.

The Legal Definition of Disorderly Conduct

According to Wisconsin Statute 947.01, a person may be charged with disorderly conduct if they engage in violent, abusive, or otherwise disorderly behavior that tends to cause or provoke a disturbance. This offense is a Class B misdemeanor. It is important to note that the law does not specify what behaviors may be considered "disorderly." When complaints are made against a person or when someone is accused of acting in a manner that which means, the decision of whether a person may be arrested and charged with a crime is largely up to the discretion of law enforcement officers.

Examples of Disorderly Conduct

There are a wide variety of situations where people may be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. They may include:

  • Fighting or brawling in public: Disagreements or arguments may escalate into physical conflict, which may disturb others who are nearby. These arguments often occur in bars or other establishments where alcohol is served. People who engage in physical violence could potentially face assault charges or other related offenses in addition to being charged with disorderly conduct.

  • Making unreasonable noise: Loud celebrations or other disruptive behaviors may annoy or disturb others. Disorderly conduct charges may result from yelling, singing loudly, playing loud music, honking car horns, or other actions that disturb the peace.

  • Using obscene language or gestures: Rude words or actions can disturb others, and they may even be perceived as threatening. Swearing at others, making harassing comments, or behaving in a sexually aggressive manner could lead to disorderly conduct charges.

  • Disrupting lawful assemblies or meetings: Taking actions to disturb people during religious services, public meetings, musical performances, or other gatherings could result in disorderly conduct charges if a person’s behavior is considered to be inappropriate, abusive, or violent.

Potential Consequences of Disorderly Conduct Charges

Following an arrest for disorderly conduct, a person may be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor. according to Wisconsin Statute 939.51, the penalties they may face following a conviction may include fines of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days. The severity of the punishment often depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident, including whether others were threatened or suffered and whether a person had previously been convicted of any criminal offenses.

The Wisconsin statutes also note that a victim does not need to be identified for a person to be charged with disorderly conduct. However, if disorderly conduct was directed at a specific victim, a person could also be charged with the offense of “intimidation of a victim.” Under Wisconsin Statute 940.44, this offense involves dissuading or intimidating the victim of a crime from reporting their victimization to law enforcement or making a complaint that could lead to criminal prosecution. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction could lead to up to $10,000 in fines and/or imprisonment for up to nine months.

Contact Our Waukesha County Disorderly Conduct Attorney

If you are facing disorderly conduct charges in Wisconsin, do not hesitate to reach out for professional legal assistance. At Bucher Law Group, LLC, our Racine County criminal defense lawyer can help you determine your options for defending against a conviction. We will work to ensure that your rights will be protected, and we will do everything we can to resolve your case successfully while minimizing the consequences that may affect your life. Contact us at 262-303-4916 to set up a free consultation today.





Share this post:
AVVO SuperLawyers BBB Thervo 2017 Martindale Hubbel City Voter List Criminal Defense Blog
Back to Top