Disorderly conduct, also referred to as a breach of peace, is one of the broadest charges on the legal spectrum in the state of Florida. There are a number of activities that can be classified as disorderly conduct and people should be well aware that the law can find a number of situations worthy of a charge. Essentially, disorderly conduct can be described as any form of action that disrupts the peace of others. There are a number of actions that can fall into this category including:
- Shouting obscenities;
- Engaging in a fight;
- Hosting a loud party;
- Engaging in a verbal confrontation; and
- Urinating in public.
The Florida law for disorderly conduct is purposely broad as it can include a number of scenarios that must be examined on a case by case basis. It’s important that people stay aware of their surroundings, abide by quiet hours, and avoid physical or verbal altercations in public areas.
Can you Defend Disorderly Conduct?
While the law is broad, that does not mean that it is easy for a conviction of a disorderly conduct charge. In fact, disorderly conduct can be a difficult case to try in court for a prosecutor. Usually, the courts need more of a disturbance than just raised voices or loud music. Generally, the courts want proof that there was an ongoing disturbance for a period of time and that the actions were particularly belligerent.
If you are found guilty of disorderly conduct, there are certainly some consequences. The common penalties for disorderly conduct are as follows:
- 60 days in jail;
- $500 fine; and
- Six months of probation.
Generally, with a first-time offense, the defendant should expect some sort of combination of probation and/or community service. However, if this is your second charge for the same offense, you could very well be looking at jail time. Either way, nobody wants their criminal record tarnished based on a charge that can easily be avoided. Seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable defense attorney could help you have the penalties reduced or avoid a conviction altogether.
Freedom of Speech
Many people are confused about how they can be charged with disorderly conduct simply for using profanity or yelling. After all, don’t we all have the freedom of speech? The simple answer is, yes. As citizens, we all have a right to express ourselves in a peaceful manner. However, emphasis is placed on the term peaceful. The moment that your words or actions infringe on the rights of others, then it becomes grounds for disorderly conduct.
Have you recently been charged with disorderly conduct? There are a number of avenues that you can take when it comes to your defense. Reach out to West Palm Beach defense attorney Scott Skier for a solid representation. He has years of experience defending people with various types of charges. He can help you understand your rights and navigate the court system. Call him today for a consultation.