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Can self-defense act as a disorderly conduct defense?

It is possible to end up in a situation where things get out of control, like when tempers flare at a party or a bar. Sometimes bad feelings progress into a fistfight, and the police come to the scene. If you find yourself under arrest, the police may charge you with disorderly conduct.

If you feel you could not avoid using force in a situation, Florida law may offer you some protection against a disorderly conduct charge through its self-defense laws.

Examples of self-defense

Florida Statute 776.012 describes some situations that justify the use of force against another person. Another individual may accost you or someone who is in your company and you perceive that you or your companion could suffer injury or death from unlawful force.

If so, the law does not require that you retreat. Florida law allows people in this situation to stand their ground and use non-deadly force. However, this is if you have the right to be where you are and if you are not committing any criminal actions. In addition, Florida Statutes 776.013 and 776.031 give you the right to defend your home and your real or personal property.

Self-defense and disorderly conduct

If you and another person get into a fight, you may end up with a disorderly conduct charge if the police do not have evidence that you were in jeopardy of physical harm. In such a situation, you might seek evidence from testimony from witnesses or phone camera footage taken during the altercation to support your claim of self-defense.

Cases of disorderly conduct vary greatly, so a claim of self-defense is not always an option as a defense. It depends upon the circumstances involved. Nonetheless, if you find yourself involved in a fight, you might benefit from looking into Florida’s self-defense laws to learn more about your rights.

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