Rhode Island's Disorderly Conduct Statute and Penalties

Rhode Island's Disorderly Conduct Statute and Penalties


Like most states, Rhode Island’s disorderly conduct statute encompasses broad language, which allows law enforcement officials to arrest individuals for engaging in a variety of disruptive and/or offensive behaviors. Stated differently, disorderly conduct laws are often used as a catch-all charge for trivial offenses. In some cases, individuals are only charged with disorderly conduct; however, a count of disorderly conduct is often added in conjunction to other charges. For example, if an individual is charged with simple assault and resisting arrest, he or she may also be charged with a count of disorderly conduct. In Rhode Island, the penalties for disorderly conduct include a period of imprisonment for up to 6 months, a fine up to $500, or both. It is important to note, however, that charges for domestic disorderly conduct may carry additional penalties. Domestic disorderly conduct occurs when an individual commits a disorderly act against another family or household member. Penalties for domestic disorderly conduct include completion of a batterer’s intervention program and fees in addition to the aforementioned disorderly conduct penalties.



How Does Rhode Island Define Disorderly Conduct?

Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law, 11-45-1, an individual commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

  • Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;
  • Engages in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering;
  • In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbs another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities;
  • Directs at another person in a public place offensive words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction on the part of the average person so addressed;
  • Alone or with others, obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place ordinarily used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances;
  • Enters upon the property of another and for a lascivious purpose looks into an occupied dwelling or other building on the property through a window or other opening; or
  • Who without the knowledge or consent of the individual, looks for a lascivious purpose through a window, or any other opening into an area in which another would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a restroom, locker room, shower, changing room, dressing room, bedroom, or any other such private area, not withstanding any property rights the individual may have in the location in which the private area is located.

Contact RI Criminal Defense Lawyer Craig Hein

Attorney Craig Hein has been successful in defending those who have been criminally accused. Craig’s style is both aggressive and steadfast. From your first conversation with him, you will realize both his capability in the court room and ability to alleviate much of your stress. Craig has made a living out of turning problems into solutions and does not rest until he does everything possible to achieve a desirable outcome. For a free consultation please call 401-619-7214.