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Disorderly Conduct While Intoxicated

To be charged with disorderly conduct while intoxicated, you must have done either of the following while voluntarily intoxicated:

  • In a public place or with more than one person, behave in a way likely to be offensive or cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to a reasonable person, which you would know if you weren’t intoxicated
  • Whether through your own actions or through encouraging others’, create a risk of physical harm to you, other people or property

Every day in central Ohio people are charged with alcohol-related criminal offenses. Alcohol offense penalties can range from a minor misdemeanor, punishable by only a fine, to a fourth-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

If you are convicted of disorderly conduct while intoxicated, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Licensure issues in some professions
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings
Simply put, if you are convicted of disorderly conduct while intoxicated, it could remain on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you rightly or wrongly run the risk of being considered a person who has had an issue with alcohol. Therefore, it is critical that you give your disorderly conduct while intoxicated offense the level of importance it deserves.

The Columbus Criminal Defense team takes a two-pronged approach to all disorderly conduct while intoxicated cases. First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police made and what legal issues can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes and potentially a lab analysis of the alcohol. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

The second approach taken by the Columbus Criminal Defense team is to identify whether you have an alcohol or substance abuse problem and if there are treatment programs available in lieu of jail or a conviction on your case.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal Defense team has successfully represented clients on disorderly conduct while intoxicated offenses. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

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Are you in trouble? Contact us.

If you’ve been charged with an underage alcohol offense, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at

If any of the following apply, intoxication is a felony of the fourth degree:

  • You ignored reasonable warnings or requests to stop
  • The offense happened near a school
  •  You committed the offense near a police officer, firefighter, rescuer, medical person, emergency medical services person or other authorized person carrying out their duties
  • It happened in the presence of an emergency facility person, in an emergency faciliity, while they were trying to carry out their duties
This carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
This is a minor misdemeanor and carries with it a fine of, at most, $150.
Have a question we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

Though the breathalyzer test and standardized field sobriety test are often the best ways of assessing intoxication, they aren’t the only ones. Officers also have eyewitness accounts at their disposal as well as their own expert opinion.Despite this fact, it’s more advantageous for you if they did not conduct either of these tests. If you plead “not guilty” and their government witness either doesn’t appear in court or their testimony doesn’t hold up, you might not be found guilty.

Your best course of action in this circumstance is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, who will be able to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335


FAX: (614) 413-2886