Drinking This Halloween? Beware Colorado Disorderly Conduct Charges

Halloween has become a highly popular drinking holiday in Colorado and across the US. Couple this with a holiday that is already supposed to be about engaging in “devilish” behavior and you may be at a higher risk of getting charged for disorderly conduct this Halloween.

In this post, we’re going to detail how disorderly conduct charges can be filed against you, and what you can do to fight back against your charges.

First, though, a bit more on Halloween and drinking.

Halloween in Colorado Is Very Much a Drinking Holiday

With cooler temps in the fall, adults are more likely to stay inside and drink. Google has tracked searches for the words liquor and wine, and since 2004 those searches have gone up in October and stayed high through the winter holidays.

Additionally, the number of adults who celebrate Halloween has been steadily climbing in the past several years. In 2007, 59 percent of US adults planned to celebrate Halloween. This year, at least 72 percent of adults plan to celebrate.

Spending on Halloween has gone up from $5.1 billion to $9.1 billion in the past decade. Alcohol companies are marketing to consumers who are willing to spend more on this holiday, even making Halloween-themed beers and liquor.

Millennials seem to be especially eager to celebrate the holiday with spending and drinking. They make up 33 percent of total alcohol consumption in the US, though they comprise only 25 percent of adults of drinking age. Millennials consume over 40 percent of US wine and 35 percent of US beer.

If you are one of the adults who plans to drink this Halloween, you need to know about Colorado disorderly conduct laws to protect yourself from getting charged.

Disorderly Conduct in Colorado

Disorderly Conduct in Colorado

The disorderly conduct laws in Colorado work to maintain the peace in public places. The laws prohibit various behaviors, including these examples that could happen on Halloween:

  • Making coarse and offensive utterances, gestures, or displays that breach the peace
  • Making unreasonable noises in public places
  • Making unreasonable noises in private places where the accused cannot lawfully occupy
  • Fighting with someone else in a public place
  • Unlawfully discharging a firearm in a public place
  • Displaying a deadly weapon or article used to cause someone to reasonably believe the item is a deadly weapon
  • Making a verbal or other kind of statement about being armed with a deadly weapon in a public place in a way that is intended to cause alarm
  • Loitering
  • Inciting or engaging in a riot
  • Hindering public transportation
  • Desecrating venerated objects
  • Public nuisance
  • Harassment

If you are convicted of disorderly conduct in Colorado, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. The level of misdemeanor will depend on the type of unlawful activity.

For example, if you unlawfully display a deadly weapon or unlawfully discharge a firearm, you will be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor. You will be required to pay between $250 and $1,000 in fines and serve between six to 12 months in jail.

A charge of public fighting is a Class 3 misdemeanor. The penalty is a $50 fine and up to six months in jail.

Harassment by touching, taunting, speaking to, following, or repeatedly calling someone in an offensive way is a Class 3 misdemeanor. The charge can be raised to a Class 1 misdemeanor if the behavior was motivated by race, religion, ancestry, or color. A conviction could lead to a fine between $500 and $5,000, and between six months and 18 months of incarceration.

Unreasonable noises and offensive utterances will result in a charge of a Class 1 petty offense. The penalties are a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

For second or subsequent disorderly conduct charges, you may face enhanced penalties.

Though Colorado does not have a law that specifically prohibits public intoxication, drinking too much on Halloween could lead to behaviors that fall under the disorderly conduct umbrella of charges. If you are facing charges of disorderly conduct this Halloween, you need the help of a qualified attorney.

Fighting a Halloween Disorderly Conduct Charge in Denver

Fighting a Halloween Disorderly Conduct Charge in Denver

Many people think a misdemeanor charge is no big deal, but if you don’t fight back, you could face serious consequences. A conviction may lead to significant fines and jail time. If you are convicted of another crime in the future, a prior misdemeanor charge can increase the level of sentencing.

If you face disorderly conduct charges after a Halloween prank, you can’t take it lying down. Fight back with the right defense and you may be able to get your charges reduced – or even dropped altogether.



About the Author: 

Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.