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Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
Have you been arrested for Disorderly Conduct in RI?

Sheeley Law will protect your rights and develop a strategy to minimize your punishment.

There are a variety of offenses that could lead to someone getting arrested for Disorderly Conduct in Rhode Island. Broadly speaking, if law enforcement believes that you are intentionally disturbing the peace through threat, force, violence, profanity or some other means, you could be charged with Disorderly Conduct. While many of these offenses may seem minor, Disorderly Conduct is a misdemeanor criminal offense that should be taken seriously.


Below is more information on the types of disruptive and/or offensive behaviors that constitute a Disorderly Conduct charge and the possible penalties for conviction. In addition, we discuss other common types of non-driving violations, such as Public Intoxication and Possession of Alcohol by a Minor, and their potential legal consequences.

If you've been arrested for Disorderly Conduct, having proper legal representation is essential for ensuring the best possible outcome for your case. The Rhode Island legal system is complex and there are so many different scenarios that can lead to a Disorderly Conduct charge under state law. Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney Ann Sheeley has over 25 years of experience navigating the legal system and delivering results. She will review all the details of your arrest, develop a defense to minimize your punishment, protect your rights and defend you in court.  

What is a Disorderly Conduct Charge in RI

Pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-45-1, the following behaviors are illegal and prohibited:

  • Fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;

  • In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbing another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities;

  • Directing 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, obstructing 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;

  • Engaging in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering;

  • Entering 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, looking 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

It is important to note that if any of the above acts are committed in front of a family member or household member, then law enforcement can charge you with a domestic disorderly conduct, which can carry additional, more severe penalties.

Possible Disorderly Conduct Penalties 


Disorderly Conduct is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Rhode Island. If you are convicted, the offense will appear on your permanent criminal record. The penalties for conviction include a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment and/or up to a $500 fine. In addition, you may have to pay fines and court costs, and you could be required to undergo substance abuse, mental health, anger management counseling, and perform community service. An experienced, local Criminal Defense Attorney like Ann Sheeley will review all the elements of your case in order to build a defense and advocate for case dismissal, reduced charges, acquittal or a plea bargain.

Public Intoxication

Public intoxication, otherwise known as “drunk and disorderly conduct,” is an arrestable offense for any person found to be visibly under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in public. In order for a public intoxication charge to stick, the following three factors must typically be met:

  1. the intoxicated individual is causing a public disturbance;

  2. the intoxicated individual is displaying harmful or dangerous behavior; and/or

  3. the intoxicated individual is considered a threat to the well-being of themself or others.


Public intoxication is typically a misdemeanor offense that can remain on your criminal record for life. If arrested, you may be detained in a jail cell under “protective custody.” If your alcohol and/or drug levels are deemed a medical threat, you may be transported to a hospital for emergency medical treatment. Possible penalties if you are convicted in court of public intoxication include fines and enrollment in an alcohol/drug treatment program. If you are arrested for public intoxication, you need an experienced Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney to protect your rights and defend you in court. With Attorney Ann Sheeley by your side, it is possible to get your charges reduced, penalties lessened, or even get your case dismissed. 

Public Intoxication
Disorderly Conduct Penalties

Possession of Alcohol by a Minor


Rhode Island General Laws 3-8-10 prohibits any person under the age of 21 from knowingly possessing, transporting or carrying alcohol. A charge for “possession of alcohol by a minor,” also referred to as “possession of beverage by underage persons” is a misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by a fine up of up to $1,000 depending on the circumstances and if it's the person's first, second, third or subsequent offense. Other possible penalties include thirty (30) hours of community service, a minimum of sixty (60) days license suspension and court-mandated substance abuse counseling.

As a young adult, you do not want a criminal conviction on your permanent criminal record. RI Lawyer, Ann Sheeley has successfully represented many minors in our 25-plus years of practicing Criminal Defense law in Rhode Island. We have effective strategies have helped many of our clients avoid a criminal convictions, license suspensions, and consequences that would negatively impact them for the rest of their life. 

Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

If you or a loved one are arrested, it is imperative that you are represented by a tough, experienced criminal defense lawyer who will protect your rights. Below are some of benefits we provide to make things easier on you:


Free Case Evaluation

We offer free no obligation consultations and will work around your schedule.


From the start of your case to its conclusion, you will work directly with attorney Ann Sheeley.

Personalized & Dedicated Services


Convenient Scheduling & Payment Options

We can meet with you in our offices in Newport, Warwick, North Providence or Pawtucket, or at another location in Rhode Island or Massachusetts that is convenient for you. For your convenience, we also take credit cards.


No Surprises, Just Results

Our services have no surprises and no gimmicks. We will work to ensure we meet your goals from the very beginning.

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