In most cases, people committing a crime are aware that what they are doing is illegal. Ohio public nuisance offenses, however, are not always so clear cut. When you are “disturbing the peace,” you can be arrested for a public nuisance crime in Cincinnati. This can be something as well defined as public urination or as broad as disorderly conduct. No matter what the offense, however, a Cincinnati disorderly conduct lawyer can help you minimize the embarrassment and damage that such an arrest may cause. Call Luftman, Heck & Associates today at to find out how we can help you.
What Is Disorderly Conduct?
Broadly speaking, a public nuisance crime is one where the “victim” is the public at large. Generally, these offenses may involve actions such as being too loud, acting lewdly in public, or being obviously drunk in public. They can escalate, however, and are broad enough to include the risk of physical or property harm. Sometimes these offenses require certain actions be taken before an arrest can be made, but with crimes like disorderly conduct, inciting violence in another person or simply threatening violence may be enough.
Usually, these public nuisance crimes are viewed as relatively minor and are punishable as misdemeanors; however, most can escalate in severity depending on the circumstances of the case. No matter how minor a public nuisance crime may seem, it may lead to serious fines, probation, community service, and even jail time. Without the help of an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer, you may find yourself quickly in over your head.
Common Ohio Public Nuisance Offenses
There are many actions that can lead to an arrest for a public nuisance offense, but most will fall under one of these common Ohio public nuisance offenses.
- Disorderly Conduct – Disorderly conduct is, perhaps, the broadest public nuisance offense in Ohio. It can be defined by a number of actions that inconvenience, annoy, or alarm the public, including making too much noise, blocking traffic, threatening physical violence or property damage, insulting others, and generally making a scene.
- Public Intoxication – In Ohio, it is technically not against the law to simply be drunk in public. You can, nonetheless, be arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
- Public Indecency – You can be arrested for public indecency for committing certain lewd behaviors in public, including exposing yourself to another person, having sex or masturbating in public, or even simply making it seem as though you might be doing sexual acts in public by “engaging in conduct that to an ordinary observer would appear to be sexual conduct or masturbation.”
- Resisting Arrest – Although a resisting arrest charge may be unsubstantiated or totally fabricated by an officer trying to avoid brutality charges, you are unlikely to get the charges dropped without the support of someone experienced in the criminal justice system like a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer.
- Pandering Obscenity – In Ohio, it’s illegal to create, reproduce, publish, advertise, sell, disseminate, buy, or participate in any obscene material or obscene production under pandering obscenity laws. This incredibly broad statute can be applied to serious charges, such as child pornography, as well as to much lesser offenses such as indiscriminately distributing dirty comics.
- Public Urination and Defecation – If you are caught urinating or defecating on public property that is not marked as a bathroom in Cincinnati, you can be charged with either public urination / defecation or disorderly conduct.