Charges Commonly Issued in Bucks County Minor Disturbance Cases

I usually see two charges issued when a person is accused of causing some kind of minor disturbance while in a public area in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Disorderly Conduct is a common offense charged by Bucks County police.

PA criminal law states that a person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:

(1) engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;

(2) makes unreasonable noise;

(3) uses obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or

(4) creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.

A PA Disorderly Conduct offense is a misdemeanor of the third degree if the intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to desist. Otherwise Disorderly Conduct is a summary offense in Pennsylvania.

Public Drunkenness is also charged by Bucks County police when the defendant appears to have been drinking.

A person is guilty of the PA summary offense of Public Drunkenness if he appears in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, as defined in the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, except those taken pursuant to the lawful order of a practitioner, as defined in the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, to the degree that he may endanger himself or other persons or property, or annoy persons in his vicinity.

The PA criminal penalties for Disorderly Conduct depend on whether the crime is considered a summary offense or a misdemeanor of the third degree. The fine for a PA Disorderly Conduct charge when it is considered a summary offense is $300.00. The fine for a PA Disorderly Conduct charge when it is considered a misdemeanor of the third degree is $2,500.00.

The PA crime of Public Drunkenness is a Summary Offense and the fine is $300.00.