What Is Disorderly Conduct?
Disorderly conduct, also called a breach of peace, was created to regulate conduct in public areas. The laws surrounding disorderly conduct charges can be ambiguous — these laws are treated as a catch-all charge for any individual who behaves in an unruly or boisterous manner while in public. The State of Florida uses this charge to cease the actions of any person who violates public decency, public morals, or the peace of other individuals. Disorderly conduct charges are one of the most common crimes committed by college students and young adults in Gainesville, FL. As a prevalent crime in Florida, a disorderly conduct charge requires an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect the rights of the charged individual.
Disorderly Conduct Laws In Florida
In the State of Florida, the general crime of Disorderly Conduct is governed by Florida Statute § 877.03. The crime of disorderly conduct is broadly defined and can be committed in a number of ways and charged for a variety of reasons. The statute reads that a person has committed the crime of disorderly conduct by engaging in the following.
- Fighting or physical altercations
- Disturbing the peace
- Inciting a riot
- Loud or unreasonable noise
- Obstructing traffic
- Public fighting and/or affray
What Are The Penalties For A Disorderly Conduct Conviction?
Disorderly conduct is a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and up to $500 in fines. A disorderly conduct case can also include various court fees in addition to court-ordered fines. An affray is often charged as a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in jail as well as fines while inciting a riot is a charged as a third-degree felony in the State of Florida. Depending on the level of reckless behavior, disorderly conduct charges may include several misdemeanors and even felonies. If you have been arrested for disorderly conduct, contact an experienced Gainesville attorney immediately to avoid potential repercussions that can last a lifetime.
In a college town like Gainesville, disorderly conduct is a common crime. Young adults and college students often drink alcohol with their friends during weekend games and other regular celebrations, but such acts can be interpreted as reckless behavior and disorderly conduct by local officials. If fined and/or jailed for disorderly conduct, the crime will be reported and permanently placed on a person’s record, which can affect his or her ability to obtain future employment and act as a barrier to a number of opportunities throughout their life.
Types Of Disorderly Conduct
There are a number of different forms of disorderly conduct, which can largely be classified as fighting, protesting, disrupting assemblages, misconduct in public places, and unruly interactions with authoritative figures within the community.
- Fighting. Fights and brawls can affect the peace and safety of a given environment and innocent bystanders. In the State of Florida, fighting is considered a disorderly conduct. Any individuals who fight in public may be charged with assault and/or battery.
- Public Misconduct. Public misconduct can be characterized in a variety of ways. Common examples of public misconduct include public masturbation, urination, and nudity. Public misconduct also includes charges of public intoxication.
- Protests/Demonstrations. Citizens have the constitutional right to engage in peaceful protests and demonstrations. However, these protests must be done in such as way that does not impede or harm the safety and well-being of others.
- Disruption Of Assemblages. It is considered disorderly conduct to disrupt a meeting or gathering, especially religious gatherings and civic meetings.