Disorderly Conduct | California PC 647

There are a host of complex criminal laws in the state of California. Some of these laws, such as those related to disorderly conduct, can actually cover an array of different criminal statutes. Unfortunately for those charged with the crime, the penalties can be extremely severe. What’s even more important to note is the fact that the punishments related to this charge can be as complex as the legal definition of the crime itself. This is why it’s essential for a person charged under disorderly conduct laws to fully comprehend what they are up against.

What is Disorderly Conduct?

Disorderly conduct is fully delved into within California’s legal statutes, but in reality, it’s basically a “catchall” when it comes to disturbing behaviors. Loitering, panhandling, squatting and prostitution are all considered forms of disorderly conduct. Even those considered to be too intoxicated in public can be arrested for the crime. It’s important to note, however, that California law isn’t always about punishment in these instances.

Some individuals, such as those who are heavily intoxicated, may be taken into civil protective custody. This could include 72 hours of treatment and evaluation related to alcohol abuse. California law, however, in some cases protects individuals from being prosecuted related to the facts that caused the confinement in the first place.

Bail for Disorderly Conduct

Unfortunately for those facing disorderly conduct charges, their bail amounts will differ depending on the specific crime that occurred related to their disorderly conduct charge. When it comes to prostitution, for instance, an individual can face a bail amount of $1,000 in Orange County. For a second offense in the same county, however, this number can jump to $2,500.

A second offense of prostitution in Los Angeles County, on the other hand, will result in a $5,000 bail amount. Some disorderly conduct charges, however, don’t result in such high bail amounts. Panhandling, for instance, will only result in a $250 bail amount in Los Angeles. This shows how greatly bail can vary. But luckily, regardless of a person’s bail amount, California mandates that bonding agencies charge no more than 10% of the face bail amount to post your bond. A Bail Hotline agent can quickly help you determine just what the potential bail is for whatever your offense under this statute. 

Punishment for Disorderly Conduct

Just like the bail amounts related to the crime, punishments for disorderly conduct can differ solely depending on the specific circumstances of a case. Due to the wide array of criminal acts that constitute disorderly conduct, California state Penal Code 647 doesn’t lay out possible punishments for all potential acts. It does, however, provide sentencing guidelines for a few forms of disorderly conduct.

Individuals who have been convicted of prostitution-related disorderly conduct once, for instance, will face at least 45 days in jail. For those with more than one prior conviction, this number jumps up to 90 days. In addition, a person convicted of “peeping Tom” related crimes can face imprisonment of up to one year.

Disorderly conduct is such a complex legal idea in California that it isn’t even directly mentioned in many of the California county bail bond schedules. This doesn’t mean, however, that an individual cannot be bailed out of jail when charged with the offense. In reality, they should attempt to do this as quickly as possible in order to start to build their defense. The legal consequences of a conviction can be definitely serious enough to warrant legal help. 

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