What is Disorderly Conduct?
Disorderly conduct refers to behavior and/or activities that disrupt the peace and/or safety of the public. Disorderly conduct is often ambiguous, but it is one of the most common crimes committed by college students and young adults. A disorderly conduct lawyer is vital to disorderly conduct cases, as such charges can have serious ramifications.
Florida Disorderly Conduct Laws
In Florida, the general crime of Disorderly Conduct or “Breach of Peace” is governed by Statute 877.03, Florida Statutes. This statute lays out the elements of the crime of Breach of Peace or Disorderly Conduct and the range of penalties for violation of the statute.
The crime of disorderly conduct is broadly defined and can be committed in various ways. The Statute reads that a person has committed the crime of disorderly conduct by “corrupting the public morals,” or “outraging the sense of public decency,” or affecting the “peace and quiet of persons who may witness them,” or “engaging in brawling or fighting” or “engaging in such conduct as to constitute a ‘breach of the peace’.” As can be seen, this is a very subjective standard. Almost any conduct can affect the peace of other people and the sounds of their surroundings.
Is Disorderly Conduct a Felony?
Disorderly conduct is a second degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and/or a $500 fine. The case can also include various court costs making the entire incident very costly. This is why if you are accused or charged with disorderly conduct, you should contact an experienced disorderly conduct attorney immediately.
Types of Disorderly Conduct
There are many different forms of breach of peace. They 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 have a major influence on the peace and safety of a given environment and innocent bystanders. In the state of Florida, fighting is considered disorderly conduct. Further, people who fight in public may be accused and charged with assault and/or battery.
- Protests/Demonstrations: Citizens have the constitutional right to engage in 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. Protests that block highways, for example, may be seen as disruptive and dangerous.
- Disruption of Assemblages: It is unlawful to disrupt a meeting or gathering, especially religious gatherings and civic meetings.
- Public Misconduct: Public misconduct can be characterized in a variety of ways. Common examples of public misconduct include the following acts: masturbation, urination, nudity, and even public intoxication.
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, or if you have been arrested for disorderly conduct, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Depending on the level of reckless behavior, disorderly conduct charges may include several misdemeanors and even felonies.
Detrimental Effects of Disorderly Conduct
In a college town like Gainesville, FL, disorderly behavior is a crime that is seen regularly. Young adults and college students often drink alcohol with their friends during weekend games and other major celebrations, causing them to behave noisily and outrageously. While many college campuses understand that young adults are merely having fun, such acts may also be interpreted as reckless behavior and disorderly conduct. If fined and/or jailed for disorderly conduct, the crime will be reported and permanently placed on a person’s record. This can make it difficult to obtain future employment.
Disorderly Conduct Defense Attorneys in Gainesville, FL
Clearly, the effects of disorderly conduct can be extremely harsh and detrimental to one’s future. At the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates, our experienced criminal defense attorneys have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to remove you from a difficult situation. Contact our firm today for a free initial consultation regarding your criminal case.