Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Disorderly Conduct Charges in Iowa

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Iowa Criminal Law » Disorderly Conduct Charges in Iowa

Iowa Code section 723.4 defines the crime of disorderly conduct as follows:


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A person commits a simple misdemeanor when the person does any of the following:

1. Engages in fighting or violent behavior in any public place or in or near any lawful assembly of persons, provided, that participants in athletic contests may engage in such conduct which is reasonably related to that sport.

2. Makes loud and raucous noise in the vicinity of any residence or public building which causes unreasonable distress to the occupants thereof.


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3. Directs abusive epithets or makes any threatening gesture which the person knows or reasonably should know is likely to provoke a violent reaction by another.

4. Without lawful authority or color of authority, the person disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons by conduct intended to disrupt the meeting or assembly.

5. By words or action, initiates or circulates a report or warning of fire, epidemic, or other catastrophe, knowing such report to be false or such warning to be baseless.


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6.
a. Knowingly and publicly uses the flag of the United States in such a manner as to show disrespect for the flag as a symbol of the United States, with the intent or reasonable expectation that such use will provoke or encourage another to commit trespass or assault.

b. As used in this subsection:
(1) “Deface” means to intentionally mar the external appearance.
(2) “Defile” means to intentionally make physically unclean.
(3) “Flag” means a piece of woven cloth or other material designed to be flown from a pole or mast.
(4) “Mutilate” means to intentionally cut up or alter so as to make imperfect.
(5) “Show disrespect” means to deface, defile, mutilate, or trample.
(6) “Trample” means to intentionally tread upon or intentionally cause a machine, vehicle, or animal to tread upon.

c. This subsection does not apply to a flag retirement ceremony conducted pursuant to federal law.

7. Without authority or justification, the person obstructs any street, sidewalk, highway, or other public way, with the intent to prevent or hinder its lawful use by others.

Disorderly conduct is a simple misdemeanor in Iowa, meaning the maximum penalty is 30 days in the county jail.


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