Skip to main content

Wisconsin Disorderly Conduct Charges | Eisenberg Law Offices

Answers to 5 Common Questions About Disorderly Conduct Charges in Wisconsin

Disorderly conduct charges are  common:  Wisconsin classifies disorderly conduct as a Class B misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines. Disorderly conduct can stem from many different situations and is not limited to domestic situations.

Wisconsin defines disorderly conduct in state statute 947.01 as:

“Whoever, in a public or private place, engages in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under circumstances in which the conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.”

This is a very broad and vague definition which essentially means that anyone who behaves in a manner that causes a disturbance can be charged with disorderly conduct. Due to this broad definition and the subjective nature of the charges, it is no surprise that Wisconsin residents have questions about disorderly conduct charges. Below, we address 5 of the most common questions we hear.

5 Questions About Disorderly Conduct Charges in Wisconsin

  1. I Didn’t Disturb Anyone. Can I Still Be Charged With Disorderly Conduct? In short, yes. Under Wisconsin law, you do not need to actually disturb anyone with your conduct in order to face disorderly conduct charges. The conduct simply has to be the type of behavior that could cause a disturbance.
  2. Can Speech Be Considered Disorderly Conduct? Although we do have free speech protections under the Constitution, sometimes speech alone can qualify as disorderly conduct. The key consideration is whether or not the speech served no purpose other than to disturb others. This issue was decided in State vs. Day (2001), which found that when the speech is not an essential part of “any exposition of ideas, when it is utterly devoid in social value and when it can cause or provoke a disturbance…” disorderly conduct charges are appropriate.
  3. What Happens if I am I Arrested for Disorderly Conduct? If you receive a misdemeanor charge for disorderly conduct, you will usually be allowed to post bond and be released the same day. The exception is if the charges involved a domestic partner. If it did, you will most likely go to jail. If you can’t post bond or are charged with a felony, then you will remain in jail until it is your turn to see a judge. Do not ignore any citations related to disorderly conduct. A “Wisconsin Uniform Misdemeanor Citation” is not just a ticket. It is a criminal charge that requires you or your attorney to appear in court on the specified date.
  4. Can I Be Charged with Disorderly Conduct Just for Carrying a Gun? Wisconsin does not consider it a violation of the disorderly conduct statute to load or carry a firearm or being armed with a firearm or knife. This is regardless of whether the gun is loaded or if the weapon is concealed or openly carried. In order to be charged with disorderly conduct, additional circumstances would have to exist that indicated that the person had criminal or malicious intent.
  5. Why Do I Have a No Contact Order? When disorderly conduct charges arise from a domestic disturbance, they are usually accompanied by a No Contact Order also called a “72 Hour no Contact Provision”. This means you cannot have any contact with the other person involved in the dispute for 72 hours. Violation of this order will result in a separate criminal charge.

      Contact Eisenberg Law Offices For Disorderly Conduct Representation

      As a misdemeanor crime, disorderly conduct charges do require you to appear in court. It is best to do this with professional legal representation by your side. From your very first appearance, you will be inundated with questions and legal explanations. Not knowing how to answer these questions or navigate the court system can lead to misunderstandings, additional charges, or higher bond amounts.

      Let the criminal defense team at Eisenberg Law Offices help you. Our criminal defense attorneys represent people throughout Wisconsin as they fight disorderly conduct charges and related domestic charges. We will make sure your rights are protected and build a strong defense that keeps your best interests in mind. 

      Arrange a free and confidential case consultation by calling 608-256-8356 or emailing



      Eisenberg Law has successfully represented our clients in thousands of Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Family Law Cases during our 30-plus years in business.