Fort Lauderdale Disorderly Conduct Attorney
Disorderly Conduct vs. Disorderly Intoxication
According to Florida Code § 877.03, disorderly conduct – which is also referred to as a “breach of the peace” – is classified as any act that corrupts public morals, outrages the sense of public decency, or affects the peace and quiet of the people who witness the incident (such as brawling or fighting).
While similar, disorderly intoxication involves acts committed when under the influence. Florida Code § 856.011 classifies this offense as any act that endangers another person and/or property, and states that it is illegal to consume alcohol on public property and then cause a disturbance as a result.
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.
If you have been arrested and charged, it is crucial that you contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. to speak with our Fort Lauderdale disorderly conduct attorneys. Call (954) 840-8713.
Disorderly Behavior in Florida
Some types of disorderly behavior that would fall into this category include:
- Inciting a riot
- Participating in a public brawl
- Disturbing the peace
- Obstructing traffic
- Use of extremely obscene or abusive language
- Loud or unreasonable noise
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.
Disorderly Conduct Florida Penalties
While these criminal charges may seem minor, they are, in fact, quite serious. You can be charged with this based on the observation of a law enforcement officer, which is a very subjective situation.
As a second-degree disorderly conduct misdemeanor, the penalties for may include:
- Jail sentence for up to 60 days
- Six months of probation
- Fine up to $500
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.
If convicted of disorderly conduct or disorderly intoxication, this will go on your permanent criminal record and can affect such things as future employment and education. Such a conviction on your criminal record may not be what you want available for access to any future employer.
When charges such as disorderly conduct or disorderly intoxication are made against you, they are usually based on the observation of law enforcement at the time of the incident. When defending against such a charge, there are often opportunities to get the charges dismissed altogether.
Enhanced Charges for Breaching the Peace in Florida
While disorderly conduct is typically charged as a second-degree misdemeanor, it may be considered a first-degree misdemeanor or felony if another person was harmed. A first-degree misdemeanor can result in up to one year in prison and substantial fines to the city or county that has jurisdiction. Inciting a riot can be prosecuted as a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. for a Free Review
If you’re facing a disorderly conduct charge, make sure you do your best to avoid a conviction by talking to one of our Fort Lauderdale disorderly conduct lawyers at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. We are dedicated to defending the rights and freedom of criminally accused clients throughout Broward County, FL.
Get in touch with our disorderly conduct attorneys in Fort Lauderdale to see how we can fight your charges and protect your rights. Your first consultation is free!
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