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What Is Disorderly Conduct?

What Is Disorderly Conduct?

What Is Disorderly Conduct?

When it comes to laws, there are plenty of terms that people hear regularly. Despite that, some of the terms are a bit unclear for people. Take for instance disorderly conduct. What exactly does that term mean? What counts as disorderly conduct?

Disorderly conduct is a broad term that covers a variety of different acts that could be considered disruptive to the general public. Knowing this can help a person avoid getting into any trouble with the law.

California’s Disorderly Conduct Laws

There are a couple of different laws here in California that can fall within the category of disorderly conduct. For starters, there is Penal Code 647. This is California’s primary disorderly conduct law and covers a variety of different activities.

Some other laws that can be considered disorderly conduct include:

  • Penal Code 404: Rioting
  • Penal Code 415: Disturbing the Peace
  • Penal Code 416: Failure to Disperse
  • Penal Code 602: Trespassing

Penal Code 647 lists all of the following acts as disorderly conduct:

  • Lewd Conduct In Public
    This occurs when people perform lewd or sexual acts in public.
  • Prostitution
    This is pretty self-explanatory, but for those unaware, this occurs whenever someone pays or gets paid for a sexual act with another person.
  • Aggressive Panhandling
    Panhandling is legal; however, being very aggressive with it is not. A person cannot accost or harass another person while asking for money.
  • Squatting
    This occurs when a person lives in another person’s home or building without permission from the owner to do so.
  • Public Intoxication
    This doesn’t mean a person can’t be drunk in public. This just means that a person cannot be so drunk that they become a threat to the safety of others and themselves.
  • Loitering
    This occurs when someone hangs around on someone’s property with the intent of committing a crime.
  • Peeping
    This occurs when a person is loitering on someone’s property with the intent of peeking into an inhabited building.
  • Invasion of Privacy
    This occurs when a person uses a device to peek into and/or record someone’s home, a private bathroom or changing room.
  • Revenge Porn
    This occurs when a person distributes pornographic images or videos of a person without his/her permission.

Under California law Penal Code 404: Rioting is defined as 2 or more people doing the following without legal permission:

  • Using force or violence.
  • Disturbing the peace.
  • Threatening to use force or violence and having the means to back up that threat.

Under Penal Code 415: Disturbing The Peace is defined as a person playing excessively loud music, fighting with someone or using offensive language to start a fight.

Penal Code 416: Failure To Disperse occurs when a person assembles or gathers for the purpose of disturbing the public and then failing to leave after being ordered to do so by law enforcement agents.

Lastly, Penal Code 602: Trespassing. Under this California law, it is illegal for a person to enter or remain on someone else’s property without their permission.

Penalties For Disorderly Conduct

Anyone who commits one of the above acts is guilty of disorderly conduct and will face penalties under one of the above laws. Penal Code 647 is a misdemeanor offense that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

Penal Code 404: Rioting is also a misdemeanor offense that comes with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

Penal Code 415: Disturbing The Peace is a wobbler offense that can be charged as an infraction or a misdemeanor depending on the facts of the case. The worst penalties for disturbing the peace are:

  • Up to 90 days in county jail.
  • A max fine of $400.

Penal Code 416: Failure To Disperse is another misdemeanor offense that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Paying restitutions for any damages caused by the crime.

Trespassing is usually charged as either an infraction or as a misdemeanor but can be charged as a felony in rare instances. The first time someone trespasses on a particular piece of land, they will face an infraction charge that comes with a $75 fine. A second offense on the same piece of land, the fine increase to $250. A third, or any subsequent offense, earns a person misdemeanor charges that comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

Trespassing can be charged as a felony when a person makes a credible threat against another individual and then within 30 days of issuing the threat is caught trespassing on the victim’s property or place of work. When this occurs, a person will face:

  • 16 months, 2 years or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

Just Be Mindful Of Others

As one can see, there are plenty of different ways that a person can be accused of disorderly conduct. However, most of these acts are pretty easy to avoid. After all, it is not like a person is faced with the possibility of being in a riot every single day. As long a person is on their best behavior and doesn’t try to start fights with other people, they will be fine.


Is Raising Speed Limits A Good Idea?

Is Raising Speed Limits A Good Idea?

Is Raising Speed Limits A Good Idea?

Speed limits are something that drivers deal with every single time they get behind the wheel of their vehicle. Some drivers follow the posted speed limits, while others prefer to view them as suggestions. It is not uncommon in California for a driver to be going the speed limit on freeways and get dirty looks, amongst other things, from other drivers for doing so.

These speeding drivers would probably prefer to have the speed limits on the roads raised so they could drive faster without having to worry about getting a ticket. However, doing so may not provide the answer they are looking for. The state of Michigan recently increased the speed limits on rural sections of freeway. So far, this has led to an increase in problems.

Raising The Speed Limit Can Lead To More Accidents

Back in 2017, Michigan voters chose to raise the speed limits along over 600 miles of rural freeways up 5 mph from 70 mph to 75 mph. This new speed limit wasn’t that much faster than the previous one, and it was only applied to sections of roadway that were deemed safe enough for that rate of travel. Unfortunately, this slight increase in speed has resulted in more accidents and more injuries.

A traffic study for the year of 2018, the first full year in which the new speed limits were posted, found that the roads with the higher speed limits saw a 17.2% increase in car crashes. This is compared with the rest of the state, which only had a 3.4% increase in crashes. Due to this increase in crashes, there has also been a rise in injuries. Roads with the raised limits saw an 18.9% rise in injuries due to accidents while the entire of the state only saw a 0.9% increase.

The study also found that the average speeds on these roads were around 75 mph. However, roughly 40% of drivers were driving over 80 mph, which is up 30% from 2016.

The roads that received the higher speed limits were selected because they were deemed the safest for those speeds, and yet they have seen a drastic increase in accidents and injuries.

It is well documented throughout many studies that increased speeds of travel lead to more accidents and more deadly accidents. However, this is only one year’s worth of data and other states who have raised speed limits have also seen mixed statistics. Some states didn’t see large spikes in accidents while others did. In many instances, it depended on the weather that year and how many drivers were on the road.

California Speeding Law

Due to the increased risk of getting into a car accident at higher speeds, California has set most of its speed limits at 65 mph with a few rural freeways getting up to 70 mph. Still, people driving at 80 mph is not uncommon here in the state. If these reckless drivers are caught they will receive a speeding ticket.

Under Vehicle Code 22350, a person caught speeding will receive a ticket, can have their license suspended, receive points on their driving record, and be held responsible for any accidents caused by their speeding. The cost of the ticket depends on how fast the driver was going.

If the total speed is under 100 mph, the driver will face:

  • $35 for 1 to 15 mph over the limit.
  • $70 for 16 to 25 mph over the limit.
  • $100 for 26 mph and higher over the limit.

If the total speed is over 100 mph, then the driver will face:

  • $500 for a first offense and a 30 day license suspension.
  • $750 for a second offense in 3 years and a 6 month license suspension.
  • $1,000 for a third offense in 5 years and a 1 year license suspension.

Speeding Is Dangerous

Basic physics shows how the faster an object is moving, the harder it is to stop. This is why when cars crash at higher speeds, the wrecks are more destructive and deadly. Speeding is dangerous. Speed limits for roadways are carefully considered before they are posted. Drivers should follow those limits in order to reduce the chances of getting into a bad accident.

Aside from just getting into a bad accident, the act of speeding can earn a person a ticket and make it so they are held responsible for the accident. This means they could be stuck paying for any damages caused and any medical bills that might need to be covered.

What do you think about the state of Michigan’s decision to raise speed limits on some roads by 5 mph?

Will it only cause more trouble or will things level off after drivers get used to the new speeds? What about California’s take on speed limits and speeding? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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