Michigan Disorderly Conduct

In Michigan, disorderly conduct charges are a misdemeanor level offense that can have long term consequences for those convicted. This charge can be filed for a number of different reasons, with the most common scenario being as a result of public intoxication and drunkenness. Generally speaking, this charge can be filed for virtually any behavior or activity deemed inappropriate, lewd, or generally offensive that negatively affects others in a public space.

It is important to ensure that you have solid legal counsel in order to defend yourself against these charges and protect your record. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the charge, it is possible to mount an effective defense and even explore reduced sentencing. If you are in need of legal assistance, please contact us today for a consultation to see how we can help.

What is Considered Disorderly Conduct?

There are a wide variety of reasons a person can be charged with disorderly conduct. As mentioned previously, these charges normally result from behavior deemed inappropriate by your average citizen, often falling under the general label of “disturbing the peace”. Formally codified under MCL 750.167, a person may be charged with disorderly conduct in Michigan if they are:

  • A person of sufficient ability who choses to neglect to support his or her family
  • A common prostitute
  • A window peeper
  • A person who engages in an illegal occupation or business
  • A person who is intoxicated in a public place and who is either endangering directly the safety of another person or of property or is acting in a manner that causes a public disturbance
  • A person who is engaged in indecent or obscene conduct in a public place.
  • A vagrant (homeless person)
  • A person begging in a public place, such as a street corner or sidewalk
  • A person found loitering in a house of ill fame or prostitution or place where prostitution or lewdness is practiced, encouraged, or allowed
  • A person who knowingly loiters in or about a place where an illegal occupation or business is being conducted
  • A person who loiters in or about a police station, police headquarters building, county jail, hospital, court building, or other public building or place for the purpose of soliciting employment of legal services or the services of sureties upon criminal recognizances
  • A person who is found jostling or roughly crowding people unnecessarily in a public place

It should be noted that in Michigan being publicly intoxicated is not a crime in and of itself. However if a person is publicly intoxicated and disturbing the peace or exhibiting disorderly conduct, they can be arrested and charged. Additionally, police do have the discretion to arrest and take into protective custody individuals who are suspected of being intoxicated in public, if they feel that it would best serve all concerned parties. There is even a possibility that a person suspected of public intoxication may be asked to perform a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) with a device known as a breathalizer, or perform field sobriety tests in order to confirm their intoxication status.


There are multiple consequences an individual can face as a result of a disorderly conduct conviction. As mentioned at the beginning, disorderly conduct charges are classified as criminal misdemeanors and will be viewed as such on a person’s permanent record. In addition to this, those convicted will also be looking at a fine of $500 and possible jail time of up to 90 days. On top of all of this, probation, community service and ongoing drug and alcohol testing are all a possibility depending on the circumstances and sentencing.

Disorderly conduct, while not as serious as a drunk driving charge, can still wreak havoc on an individual’s life. It is therefore vital that those facing these charges should reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to explore possible solutions or alternative sentencing to avoid a misdemeanor conviction on their record. The expert attorneys at Kelly & Kelly P.C. are veterans in criminal defense and can work with you to explore the best options for defending against disorderly conduct charges. If you are in need of defense against disorderly conduct charges, please contact our criminal defense experts so we can see what your options are for the best legal outcome.