Virginia Disorderly Conduct under Va. Code §18.2-415 is intentionally or recklessly causing public inconvenience, annoyance or harm by engaging in conduct likely to cause violence by the person at whom the conduct is directed. A Virginia disorderly conduct charge can also be proven if a person interrupts a meeting or school activity by engaging in such conduct intentionally or recklessly. Recklessly means that the accused was aware that his conduct created a risk of inconvenience, annoyance or harm and proceeded to act in the face of that risk.
Virginia Disorderly Conduct Under §18.2-415
A Virginia Disorderly Conduct charge under §18.2-415(A) occurs when a person intentionally or recklessly causes public inconvenience, annoyance, or harm by engaging in conduct that has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person at whom the conduct is directed.
Va. Code §18.2-415(B) makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to willfully (or while intoxicated) disrupt a funeral, memorial service, or meeting of a governmental body, school, literary society, or religious service. The Commonwealth must prove that the offender acted with intent to cause (or recklessly caused) inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm and willfully disrupted the meting to convict an offender of a Virginia Disorderly Conduct charge under Va. Code §18.2-415(B). If an intoxicated person disrupted the meeting, the Commonwealth does not need to prove that he acted willfully. A person is intoxicated if he has “has drunk enough alcoholic beverages to observably affect his manner, disposition, speech, muscular movement, general appearance or behavior” (Va. Code §4.1-100). Finally, the meeting must actually be disrupted. A meeting is disrupted by preventing or interfering with the orderly conduct of a meeting, or by directly tending to cause acts of violence by the person at who the disruptive conduct was directed.
A Virginia disorderly conduct charge under Va. Code §18.2-415(C) is committed when an offender intentionally (or while intoxicated) disrupts a school or school-sponsored activity. Disruptive conduct must be directed at and actually disrupt the operation of a school or an activity conducted or sponsored by a school. The disruption must prevent or interfere with the orderly conduct of the operation/activity or has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person at whom the disruption is directed. The offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punished with up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2500.
Penalty for Virginia Disorderly Conduct
A Virginia Disorderly Conduct charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punished with up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2500.
Other Virginia Disorderly Conduct Offenses
- Disorderly Conduct on Grounds of Hospital: This offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punished by up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2500 (Va. Code §37.2-429).
- Disorderly Conduct on Public Transportation: It is a Class 4 misdemeanor under Va. Code §46.2-2011.18 to fail to act in an orderly manner while using transportation services of a common carrier. A Virginia disorderly conduct on public transportation charge is violated if a person acts in a manner disrupting the safe operation by the driver, or failing to obey the driver’s instruction to at in an orderly manner. This offense is punished with a fine up to $250.
- Unlawful Assembly: Va. Code §18.2-406 makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for three or more people to assemble together with the intent to commit acts of force or violence likely to endanger public safety, peace or order, and the assembly does in fact cause fear of a breach of public safety peace. The offense becomes a Class 5 felony if any of those assembled carried a firearm, deadly weapon, or other dangerous weapon. For more information on unlawful assembly in Virginia, click here.
- Using Abusive Language to Another: It is a Class 3 misdemeanor under Va. Code §18.2-416 to curse at another person or use violent abuse language to another person concerning that person or his relations and that language is likely to cause a breach of peace. This offense is punished with a fine up to $500.
- Using Grossly Insulting Language to a Female of Good Character: This offense is a Class 3 misdemeanor under Va. Code §18.2-417, punished with a fine up to $500.
- Swearing in Public/Public Intoxication: Profanely cursing, swearing, or being drunk in place visible to the public is a Class 4 misdemeanor under Va. Code §18.2-388. A person is intoxicated in public for purposes of this statute if he is intoxicated from drugs or alcohol. For more information on public intoxication in Virginia, click here.
- Interdicted Person Drunk in Public: §4.1-322 makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for an interdicted person to be drunk in public in violation of §18.2-388. It is punished with up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2500. For more information on interdicted persons in Virginia, click here.
- Spitting in Public: It is a Class 4 misdemeanor, under Va. Code §18.2-322, punished with a fine up to $250, to spit in a public place.
- Burning Object on Private Property: It is a Class 6 felony to burn an object on someone else’s private property without permission with the intent to intimidate a person or group under Va. Code §18.2-423.01A. It is also a Class 6 felony to burn an object on a highway or other public place with the intent to intimidate a person or group and that burning places another person in fear of death or bodily injury. These offenses are punished with up to 5 years in Prison. Violation of Va. Code §18.2-423.01 could also be basis of a conviction for Va. Code §18.2-485 (Conspiracy to incite a race war).
- Wearing Mask in Public to Conceal Identity: It is a Class 6 felony under Va. Code §18.2-422 felony for anyone over the age
of 16 to wear a mask, hood or other device with the intent to conceal his identity in a place open to the public or on private property without written consent. The statute does not apply to holiday masks, masks deemed necessary for physical safety in certain trades, employment and other activities, any person in a theatrical masquerade production, and medically necessary masks.
- Maintaining Common Nuisance (Manufacturing, Storing, Dispensing, Using Alcohol Contrary to Law): It is a Class 1 misdemeanor under Va. Code §4.1-317 to maintain or assist in the maintenance of a common nuisance created by manufacturing, storing, dispensing, or using alcohol contrary to the law.
- Maintaining a Common Nuisance (Place Used For Possession, Manufacturing, Distribution of Controlled Substance): It is a Class 1 misdemeanor under Va. Code §18.2-258, to knowingly permit, establish, keep or maintain a common nuisance that is frequented by people under the influence of drugs or marijuana or any place used for illegal possession, manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance. A second or subsequent violation is a Class 6 felony, punished with up to 5 years in prison.
- Keeping, Residing In or Frequenting A Bawdy House: It is a crime to keep, reside in or visit a bawdy house in Virginia under Va. Code §18.2-347. A bawdy house is “any place within or without any building or structure which is used or is to be used for lewdness, assignation or prostitution.”