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Disputing disorderly conduct charges

Authorities in Florida and most other states may charge you with disorderly conduct for playing music too loud or for being drunk in public. In some cases, you may be charged with disturbing the peace or with something like indecent exposure that better describes your actions.

There must be an intent to commit a crime

Generally speaking, you won’t be charged with disorderly conduct unless you intended to commit a crime. For instance, simply tussling with a friend on the sidewalk won’t typically rise to the level of criminal activity. This may be especially true if there was no intent to injure that friend or others nearby.

Additionally, a disorderly conduct or similar type of charge is unlikely to stick if you were engaging in self-defense. However, there is a chance that you will be taken into custody if authorities can’t determine if you engaging in reckless behavior or simply trying to defend yourself.

You must have an idea that your conduct is illegal

In many cases, you won’t be convicted of a disorderly conduct or reckless conduct charge unless you knew that your actions were illegal. Typically, this would mean that you were warned by a police officer or the owner of an establishment that your actions were annoying or constituted a blatant disregard for another person’s safety. However, if your actions result in property damage, it is possible for the owner of the damaged property to file a civil lawsuit against you.

If you have been charged with disorderly conduct or similar offenses, an attorney may help you get the charge dismissed or reduced. This may be done by having evidence suppressed before a trial begins or by casting doubt on witness testimony or other information used against you during a formal trial.

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