Disorderly conduct laws exist in order to tamp down on disruptive behavior. Any act that corrupts public morals or violates indecency standards falls under this umbrella.
However, if your child is facing a disorderly conduct charge, it could have negative and lasting repercussions that could alter their potential future path.
Examples of disorderly conduct
Florida State Legislature looks at disorderly conduct charges. This is a second-degree misdemeanor in most cases, but in extenuating circumstances, prosecutors may choose to elevate it to a first-degree misdemeanor or even a felony.
Some examples of disorderly conduct include public fights or arguments, public intoxication, and non-violent incidents with the police. The term itself is quite broad, however, and may cover a number of situations.
With a second-degree misdemeanor charge, your child could face a fine of up to $500.00 as well as 60 days in jail. Public fights, on the other hand, could result in first-degree misdemeanors and a resulting year in jail. Felony charges may result in a jail sentence of over a year.
Defenses against claims
Generally speaking, there are several defenses to disorderly conduct charges. For example, they do not typically hold up in the event that your child created an annoyance, caused a crowd to gather, or used profanity.
The U.S. Constitution also protects certain rights and freedoms, like freedom of peaceful assembly and speech. Under the First Amendment, only “fighting words” count as disorderly conduct. Such words breach peace, such as shouting the word “fire” in a crowd.
Self-defense also only applies to certain claims but is often a valid defense against disorderly conduct charges.