Indiana Code on Disorderly Conduct and Other Offenses Against the Public Order

September 27, 2022

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Indiana Code on Disorderly Conduct and Other Offenses Against the Public Order 

Indiana Code on disorderly conduct and other offenses against the public order are located in the first chapter of Indiana Code 35-45 “Offenses Against Public Health, Order, and Decency.” These offenses include rioting, disorderly conduct, burning a flag, and violating or maintaining a common nuisance. Depending on the severity of the criminal act, these offenses carry penalties ranging from a Class B misdemeanor to a Level 5 Felony, which carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison and a fine of $10,000.  

Although these crimes may not seem too serious, the Indiana code on disorderly conduct and other offenses against the public requires that courts administer serious penalties for these seemingly minor offenses. To protect your freedoms and avoid the maximum penalty, you will need to retain the counsel of an aggressive, skilled criminal defense attorney in Indiana. 

The defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have extensive experience within the criminal justice system. Our founding attorneys, who previously served as deputy prosecutors, leverage their knowledge of both sides of the courtroom to fight charges and work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf. We will work closely with you to develop an innovative strategy for your unique circumstances and will seek to get charges reduced or dropped. Set up a free consultation with an attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP today or give us a call at 317-751-7186. 

Indiana Code on Rioting 

Indiana Code on Rioting can be found in Indiana Code 35-45-1-2 which defines rioting as “a person who, being a member of an unlawful assembly, recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally engages in tumultuous conduct.” At the lowest level, the offense of rioting is defined by Indiana Code as a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious misdemeanor under Indiana law. Per Indiana law, the maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is 1 year in jail, $5,000 in fines, and probation up to 1 year for any time not spent in jail.  

Those charged with Rioting may also face a felony conviction under certain circumstances. Rioting can be a Level 6 felony if it was committed while armed with a deadly weapon; results in serious bodily injury; or causes property damage of at least $750 but no more than $50,000. When damages exceed $50,000 or the act of rioting resulted in catastrophic injury or death, the conviction would be elevated to a Level 5 felony, which carries a maximum penalty of six years in jail and a fine of $10,000.  

Rioting in Indianapolis, or anywhere else in Indiana, is a serious crime. If convicted of this offense, you may face significant prison time. In addition, you will have to carry the burden of a criminal record with you into the future, which could affect many different facts of your life – job opportunities, housing, the right to own/carry a gun, voting rights, and more. To avoid the consequences of an Indiana Level 6 felony and increase the chances of securing the optimal outcome in your case, you will need to work with an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney. 

To fully understand the charges against you, the potential sentencing consequences you face, and the options available to mitigate them, contact the criminal defense team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP today. Call us at 317-751-7186 or set up a free consultation online.  

 Indiana Code on Burning a Flag 

In Texas v. Johnson (1989), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that flag desecration was an act protected by the First Amendment of the United States constitution. However, Indiana Code on Burning a Flag still explicitly prohibits the act. Per Indiana Code 35-45-1-4, “a person who knowingly or intentionally mutilates, defaces, burns or tramples any United States flag, standard, or ensign commits flag desecration.” This offense is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, $5,000 in fines, and probation of up to 1 year for any time not spent in jail. 

Indiana Code on Visiting a Common Nuisance 

Indiana Code on Visiting a Common Nuisance can be found in Indiana Code 35-45-1-5. Within this law, a common nuisance is defined as a “building, structure, vehicle, or another place that is used for one or more of the following purposes:  

  • To buy an alcoholic beverage in violation of Indiana Code 7.1-5-10-5 
  • To unlawfully use, keep, or sell a legend drug  
  • To unlawfully use, manufacture, keep, offer for sale, sell, deliver, or finance the delivery of a controlled substance or item of drug paraphernalia  
  • To provide a location for a person to pay, offer to pay, or agree to pay money or other property to another person for a human trafficking victim or an act performed by a human trafficking victim 
  • To provide a location for a person to commit a violation of Indiana Code 35-42-3.5-1 through Indiana Code 35-42-3.5-1.4 (human trafficking) 

Individuals who knowingly or intentionally visit a common nuisance described above can be charged with, depending on the circumstances, a Class B misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor, or a Level 6 felony. If the offense involved the sale of an alcoholic beverage; or the use, keeping or sale of a legend drug, sale, use or possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, then it would be classified as a Class B Misdemeanor. If the offense involved human trafficking or bringing a minor or endangered adult into a common nuisance that is used to unlawfully consume, keep, manufacture, or sell controlled substances then it would be considered a Class A Misdemeanor.  

Visiting a Common Nuisance becomes a Level 6 felony when the person “knowingly or intentionally, or recklessly takes a person less than 18 years of age or an endangered adult into a common nuisance used to unlawfully use, manufacture, keep, offer for sale, sell, deliver, or finance the delivery of a controlled substance or item of drug paraphernalia; and has a prior unrelated conviction for a violation of this section involving a controlled substance or paraphernalia.  

Indiana Code on Maintaining a Common Nuisance 

In contrast to visiting a common nuisance, one can also be charged with “maintaining a common nuisance” in Indiana. This means, rather than visiting a place that qualifies as a common nuisance, you are actively hosting or maintaining a common nuisance, such as your home, apartment, or privately-owned business.  

The Indiana code on maintaining a common nuisance states that if convicted, one will face a Level 6 Felony. However, Indiana Code on disorderly conduct and other offenses against the public order does state that a valid defense to prosecution is if the offense only involves the unlawful use or keeping of fewer than 30 grams of marijuana, less than 5 grams of hash oil, hashish or salvia; or an item of drug paraphernalia that is designed for use with, or intended to be used for, marijuana, hash oil, hashish, or salvia; and the person does not have a prior unrelated conviction for a violation of Indiana Code on maintaining a common nuisance.  

Found in Violation of the Indiana Code on Disorderly Conduct? 

The Indiana code on Disorderly Conduct and other offenses against the public order is clear in both what constitutes a criminal offense and the potential penalties that may be applied if successfully convicted. Although some penalties may not seem serious, it is important to understand that even low-level felonies in Indiana can have a hugely negative impact on your freedom and rights. Therefore, if you have been charged with disorderly conduct, rioting, flag desecration, visiting a common nuisance, or maintaining a common nuisance in Indiana, the first thing you should do is call an Indiana criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney can help you navigate your case and build a strategy aimed at procuring the best possible outcome in the prosecution’s case against you. 

The criminal defense team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP in Indianapolis is made up of former prosecutors who now work to defend the rights and reputations of those accused of crimes in Indiana. This background means our attorneys fully understand both sides of criminal cases and the strategies the prosecution may use when trying to prove a defendant’s guilt. With our depth of knowledge regarding both criminal law and court culture, we can develop successful defense strategies aimed at minimizing your charges or eliminating them all together. To begin working on your criminal defense today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-751-7186 or set up a free consultation online. 

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