Charges Of Disorderly Conduct Effect Students’ Graduate School And Employment Future

Just a reminder for our more rambunctious readers from areas in which Boston students dwell. Too much partying can lead to the need for a criminal defense attorney.

It is not an unusual story, but it happened again in the wee hours of October 31st. Mario B., 29 of Alpine Texas and John B., 22 of Fair Oaks Park, Needham, apparently went a little too far in Allston. According to the authorities, they were acting in a disruptive manner while police were trying to disperse a party.

Apparently, the two yelled and swore at investigating police so loudly that they woke up others in the apartment building.

That type of thing is frowned upon in the Commonwealth; even on Halloween.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

Over the past year, we have posted many blogs regarding the crime of “Disorderly Conduct”. In fact, the Commonwealth misdemeanor even made news when brought against a Harvard professor back in the summer months.

Behavior that the police find to be disruptive is called a number of things. You could be “drunk and disorderly”. Perhaps you were “disturbing the peace”. Really anger an officer and you wind up in “resisting arrest” territory.

Students should be aware that police are often not in a partying mood when they arrive to disperse a party. The fact is that the crime of disorderly conduct is very broadly set forth in the law. Being disruptive or even simply offensive can be enough to land you in involuntary Commonwealth housing.

“But Sam, kids will be kids. They’ll just get a slap on the wrist, right? I mean…assuming there are no drugs or alcohol. I mean, it’s not a murder case, right?”

You are correct…it is not a murder case. In terms of there being no drugs or alcohol at the party of minors…I leave that to your own common sense. But, in terms of your actual question…it depends on what you call a “slap on the wrist“.

Any criminal involvement with the courts as a student can have wide-ranging effects on that student’s life for a number of years. For example, let’s say that said student pleads guilty and simply gets a small fine. No big deal?

Very big deal. Now that student has a conviction for a crime on his or her record which cannot be sealed for ten years. That conviction will follow the student through graduate school and job applications for that vital period of time.

“But you have spoken of a Continuance Without A Finding. Couldn’t the student get that?”

Maybe. But then, there is also an admission of guilt in such a continuance and it is also something that can be turned into a guilty finding by one false move. Further, that Continuance Without A Finding will appear on the student’s record and also cannot be removed for 10 years.

So, the bottom line should be familiar to you by now. First of all, take the possibility of any criminal charge seriously. Try to avoid the problem in the first place. Failing that, do not assume that a criminal prosecution is “no big deal”. Treat it seriously. Retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who can best deal with the situation and advise and defend you.

If you wish to discuss the matter with me, please feel free to call me at (617) 206-1942.

For the full article upon which today’s blog is based, go to

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