Assault and Disorderly: An Overview
Domestic violence refers to the physical or emotional harm inflicted on one household or family member by another member of the same household or family, usually between spouses, which is why it is often referred to as "spousal abuse".
An assault/battery is committed when one person 1) tries to or does physically strike another, or 2) acts in a threatening manner to put another in fear of immediate harm.
Many types of obnoxious or unruly conduct may fit the definition of disorderly conduct. Police may use a disorderly conduct charge to keep the peace when a person is behaving in a disruptive manner, but presents no serious public danger. In some instances, people may be charged with disorderly conduct in domestic abuse situations.
In Wisconsin, a person who engages in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, or otherwise disorderly conduct, whether in a public or a private place, in circumstances where the conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance, may be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
A defendant was properly convicted of disorderly conduct when he appeared on a stage wearing a minimum of clothing intending to and succeeding in causing a loud reaction in the audience. State v. Maker, 48 Wis. 2d 612, 180 N.W.2d 707 (1970).
It was not disorderly conduct for 4 people to enter an office with other members of the public for the purpose of protesting the draft and to refuse to leave on orders of the police when their conduct was not otherwise disturbing. State v. Werstein, 60 Wis. 2d 668, 211 N.W.2d 437 (1973).
This statute does not require a victim, but when the disorderly conduct is directed at a person, that person is the victim for the purpose of prosecuting the perpetrator for intimidating a victim under s. 940.44. State v. Vinje, 201 Wis. 2d 98, 548 N.W.2d 118 (Ct. App. 1996).
Disorderly conduct does not necessarily require disruptions that implicate the public directly. [The law] encompasses conduct that tends to cause a disturbance or disruption that is personal or private in nature, as long as there exists the real possibility that the disturbance or disruption will spill over and disrupt the peace, order, or safety of the surrounding community as well. Sending repeated, unwelcome, and anonymous mailings was "otherwise disorderly conduct." State v. Schwebke, 2002 WI 55, 253 Wis. 2d 1, 644 N.W.2d 666.
[A person may be charged with disorderly conduct if] ...with intent to frighten, intimidate, threaten or abuse another person, sends a message on an electronic mail or other computerized communication system with the reasonable expectation that the person will receive the message and in that message uses any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggests any lewd or lascivious act. (See Classification of Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Forteitures).