Under Florida law, disorderly conduct covers a wide range of behaviors. Some of them might seem harmless, but if they cause enough of a disturbance, you might end up with a criminal charge. Here’s a closer look at how Florida defines disorderly conduct.
What are the disorderly conduct laws in Florida?
Essentially, disorderly conduct involves causing a public disturbance. This can include getting into a fight, making loud noises, harassing others, starting a brawl or a riot, shouting obscenities, blocking traffic, loitering in front of buildings, bring drunk in public or doing anything else that disturbs the peace.
If you’re accused of disorderly conduct, you might be charged with a misdemeanor. This charge typically comes with a $500 fine and up to 60 days in prison. If you’re convicted of fighting in public, you could be sentenced to up to a year in prison.
During the trial, your defense attorney might argue that your actions were covered under the First Amendment, depending on the situation. They may also argue that you were acting in self-defense if another person was involved. Another common defense involves arguing that the incident didn’t take part in a public place, so it couldn’t have disturbed the public.
What might an attorney do for you?
Disorderly conduct isn’t the worst crime you could be charged with, but it still comes with hefty fines and potential prison time. If you’re convicted, you’ll also have a criminal charge on your record that can make it hard to go college, rent an apartment or get a job.
An attorney may defend you against the charges and potentially get the case dropped altogether. Since disorderly conduct applies to a wide range of behaviors, your attorney might argue that the prosecution isn’t getting the full story about the incident.