What is disorderly conduct?

| Mar 5, 2021 | Student Conduct Violations |

As a college student, you want to earn a degree and have a bit of fun along the way. Still, a criminal conviction may have both legal and educational consequences. Students at Penn State often face criminal charges and school discipline for disorderly conduct. 

Pennsylvania’s prohibition on disorderly conduct comes from a broad statute. Consequently, behaving in any unruly manner may make you vulnerable to disorderly conduct charges. 

Examples of disorderly conduct in Pennsylvania

Unlike other criminal offenses, disorderly conduct in the Keystone State does not describe a specific action. Instead, disorderly conduct includes a variety of behaviors that may interfere with public peace or safety. 

While this list is not exhaustive, the following are some common examples of disorderly conduct in Pennsylvania: 

  • Fighting 
  • Loitering 
  • Violating noise ordinances 
  • Being in public while intoxicated 

Criminal penalties for disorderly conduct

Upon conviction for disorderly conduct, you may face a variety of legal penalties. These include up to 90 days behind bars and a fine of up to $300. Fortunately, disorderly conduct is usually a summary charge in Pennsylvania, making it less serious than a misdemeanor or felony. 

Educational penalties for disorderly conduct

Disorderly conduct is one of 18 overarching categories of unacceptable student behavior in Penn State’s code of conduct. It is important to note that you may face educational penalties for disorderly conduct even if prosecutors do not charge you with a crime. 

Ideally, to avoid educational consequences, such as a disciplinary hearing, you should exhibit good behavior on and off campus. Because events may simply be out of your control, defending yourself aggressively in any disciplinary action may help you avoid the educational penalties that often come with disorderly conduct.