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Disorderly Conduct

What is Disorderly Conduct? That is a good question, it is normally a breach of the peace. This becomes a catch all for the police when they cannot arrest you for anything else but want to get you off the streets. The most common example is the drunk person who is causing a disturbance in public but did not commit any other crimes the officer will arrest them for disorderly conduct. The Officer needs to show that someone other than the officer was bothered by your actions. This is not an easy charge for the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Disorderly Conduct is a second degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of supervised probation and a fine of $500. It can also result in having a criminal conviction on your record for life.

I had a case where a group of people were all fighting in downtown Orlando and the officer had no way of knowing who the aggressor was so he charged everyone with disorderly conduct, that is why it is called a “catch-all” sort of charge. It is similar to resisting and officer without violence that gets slapped on many people’s charges with the hopes that even if the original charge they were arrested for does not stick they have the resisting to fall back on. The best thing you can do if asked by a police officer to leave an area is not to argue but just go quietly so you do not risk being charged with this crime.

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