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What Is Considered Disorderly Conduct?

Defining Disorderly Conduct

Different states have varying definitions of disorderly conduct, so it can be hard to know whether certain behaviors or situations can be considered disorderly. In general, disorderly conduct is behavior that disrupts the peace and quiet of others.

Disorderly conduct covers a wide variety of circumstances. Police typically use the charge when an individual is disruptive but not dangerous. These situations are often subjective, so it's vital to seek legal advice if you're charged with disorderly conduct. The definition is left vague intentionally to be used as a catch-all for scenarios that don't fall under any other statute.

Examples of Disorderly Conduct

Some examples of disorderly conduct may include but are not limited to:

  • Fighting or brawling

  • Violating a noise ordinance

  • Inciting a riot

  • Use of obscene language

  • Public intoxication

  • Disturbing the peace

  • Loitering

  • Blocking traffic

Other scenarios can also lead to a disorderly conduct charge, but the above are the most common instances. For a situation to be considered disorderly conduct, it must happen in public or affect the public. For example, saying obscenities in your own home isn't against the law, but shouting them on a busy street could lead to legal trouble.

What Happens if You're Charged

Just like the definition of disorderly conduct varies by state, different jurisdictions also have different penalties for the charge. In Florida, most disorderly conduct cases are considered a second-degree misdemeanor, which has a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

A public brawl can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, and inciting a riot can be charged as a third-degree felony. Both of these charges can result in more severe consequences than other types of disorderly conduct.

Charged with Disorderly Conduct? We Can Help

It's critical that you consult with a lawyer after being charged with disorderly conduct. Even if it seems like a minor crime, you should have someone on your side who understands the law's intricacies.

If you've been charged with disorderly conduct in Florida, Hager & Schwartz, P.A. is here to help. We are experienced criminal defense attorneys who can work with you through the legal proceedings to resolve the case as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Contact us today at (954) 840-8713 to discuss your case.