What constitutes disorderly conduct and interferencewith an investigation?

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What constitutes disorderly conduct and interferencewith an investigation?

There was someone stopped in my driveway by an officer, whose car blocked traffic in front of my house. I walked outside to ask if they could move off the street and out of my driveway since we had furniture for my son’s birthday party being dropped off. Without explanation, the officer screamed at me and placed me under arrest. I was not near either the officer nor the person he was stopping. I am now being charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with an investigation, both misdemeanors.

Asked on January 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Well, the good thing about such issues nowadays is more often than not, the police have on board dash cameras and sound to record all that goes on.  If you were anywhere within the angle of the car to be captured on film, get thee to a lawyer immediately and subpoena the video. Further, fight fight fight! If what you say is true, the officer had no business treating you in that manner and placing you under arrest. He could have indicated his business won't take long and simply be patient.  He did actually have a right to stop anyone in your driveway because unless you can actually prove otherwise, driveways are actually considered part of the right of way and are considered public property (i.e., belonging to the town or city).  There are several reasons for this. 1) Most water lines or utilities that branch off to your house are located under your driveway or very near it and 2) the other is of course to prevent undue lawsuits for trespassing.  So the best thing to do at this point is talk to a criminal defense attorney and he or she will get the necessary document requests and start from there. You should ask what the next step would be if you prevail to obtain attorneys costs and fees from the police.  While you were assaulted by the officer per se, his or actions may cost the department your lawyers fees, costs and any monies you might get for emotional distress, defamation, etc. An experienced attorney in this arena will know how to tread lightly and how to make his or her presence known.


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