If you are being generally rowdy, annoying, or visibly drunk in public, chances are good that you could be charged with Disorderly Conduct. This is a very broad, catch-all type of statute which states specifically: 

(A) No person shall recklessly cause inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to another by doing any of the following: 

  • (1) Engaging in fighting, in threatening harm to persons or property, or in violent or turbulent behavior;

  • (2) Making unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display or communicating unwarranted and grossly abusive language to any person;

  • (3) Insulting, taunting, or challenging another, under circumstances in which that conduct is likely to provoke a violent response;

  • (4) Hindering or preventing the movement of persons on a public street, road, highway, or right-of-way, or to, from, within, or upon public or private property, so as to interfere with the rights of others, and by any act that serves no lawful and reasonable purpose of the offender;

  • (5) Creating a condition that is physically offensive to persons or that presents a risk of physical harm to persons or property, by any act that serves no lawful and reasonable purpose of the offender.

(B) No person, while voluntarily intoxicated, shall do either of the following: 

  • (1) In a public place or in the presence of two or more persons, engage in conduct likely to be offensive or to cause inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to persons of ordinary sensibilities, which conduct the offender, if the offender were not intoxicated, should know is likely to have that effect on others;

  • (2) Engage in conduct or create a condition that presents a risk of physical harm to the offender or another, or to the property of another.

Ohio Revised Code 2917.11


Disorderly Conduct is typically charged as a minor misdemeanor, meaning it is the lowest level misdemeanor and punishable by up to $150 fine, plus court costs. However, Disorderly Conduct can be elevated to a fourth degree misdemeanor if you persist in the behavior, or near a school, or in the vicinity of a police officer or other emergency personnel. M4 Disorderly Conduct there is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, and up to a $250 fine, plus court costs. 


  • Do not act visibly drunk in public, especially in places where many police officers are likely to be (i.e. football tailgates, bar districts, music festivals);

  • Do not engage in public yelling, screaming, swearing, or abusive language;

  • If an officer asks you to stop your behavior, stop immediately and leave the area; and

  • Call your lawyer if you have any questions!

Questions? Call 614.745.2001.