When you face charges for disorderly conduct in Palm Beach County or in the general South Florida area, your reputation, future, and freedom are on the line. You need skilled legal guidance.
The experienced attorneys at Sando Law P.A. can help. Led by two-time Prosecutor of the Year, Andrew Sando, Esq., our firm is highly knowledgeable about the intricacies of Florida Disorderly Conduct law and knows how to fight for you. We will listen attentively to you, give you reliable and accurate legal advice, treat your case with the focused care and attention that it deserves, and devise an effective strategy to defend you and protect your rights.
What is Disorderly Conduct in Florida
Florida Statute Section 877.03 defines Disorderly Conduct as a second Degree Misdemeanor. In a pertinent part, the statute states that an individual can be charged with disorderly conduct if they act in ways that “corrupt the public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them, or engages in brawling or fighting.”However, as the statute fails to define these terms conclusively, an individual could be improperly arrested for conduct that is fully protected. Accordingly, with such a broad definition, and with stakes being so high for the person charged, the particular facts of a case are extremely important in determining whether an individual’s behavior will meet the statutory definition of disorderly conduct. This makes the selection of a skilled and seasoned attorney all the more crucial in your attempt to be acquitted of the disorderly conduct charge.
Stating the statute in more simple terms, an individual will have engaged in disorderly conduct if: a) he or she creates a disturbance that breaches the peace and quiet of the public; b) outrages the public morals or decency of the community or c) engages in public fighting.
Examples of Disorderly Conduct
There are numerous examples of disorderly conduct that may cause a breach of public peace and quiet. Such examples include, but are not limited to public intoxication, the blocking of traffic, public arguments, behavior that may incite a riot, continued loitering in certain places after being told to leave by the police, or obstructing, or interfering with the actions of a law enforcement officer. Once again, the specific facts of these occurrences are crucial in determining whether an individual has engaged in disorderly conduct.
What are the Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Florida?
Under Florida law, a disorderly conduct conviction carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail, or six months of probation, and a fine of $500.Of course, depending upon the specific circumstances of the case, reduced penalties may be imposed by the court. In certain instances, and depending upon the specific facts of the case, more leniency may be shown to first-time offenders.
What Should You Do if You Are Charged with Disorderly Conduct?
The first thing you should do if you are charged with disorderly conduct is to seek sound and knowledgeable legal advice. An arrest is a serious matter that may lead to highly negative personal consequences and should be treated accordingly. An experienced attorney will be able to evaluate your case and propose a strategy that will hopefully lead to the dismissal or downgrading of the charges against you. With their experience, the skilled attorneys at Sando Law P.A. can provide such crucial evaluation and assistance.
How a Skilled Disorderly Conduct Attorney Can Help You
Being charged with disorderly conduct can lead to immediate and potentially harmful consequences to your life that must be addressed immediately. The charges may affect your present employment and living conditions, and your opportunity of obtaining better-paying employment in the future. It may also create a permanent criminal record for you that will become a public record that cannot be ignored.
For all of these reasons, the importance of a skilled attorney cannot be underestimated. Such an attorney may be able to craft defenses to the charges against you. Your attorney will know and will advise you that certain conduct, such as belligerence, the use of profanity, or creating an annoyance or disturbance, will not support a disorderly conduct conviction. As you face significant and consequential penalties if you are convicted, it is imperative that you retain a skilled attorney who will be able to devise a strategy that will protect your rights.
A skilled attorney will also know that to obtain a disorderly conduct conviction, the prosecution must prove each element of the offense. The attorney will be on heightened alert to see whether the prosecution meets this burden. An experienced attorney will protect your rights by aggressively objecting to the admission of evidence that has been obtained improperly.
Although there can be a number of defenses to disorderly conduct, the two most common are your First Amendment freedom of speech rights and your right of self-defense, if you are attacked. While your freedom of speech is not unlimited (neither fighting words nor enhanced words, such as shouting “fire” in a theater are protected), both the U.S. and Florida constitutions afford you broad protection to say anything vulgar, outrageous, or offensive and will provide a strong defense to disorderly conduct prosecution.
Similarly, your attorney’s ability to establish the fact that in the incident in question, you were not the aggressor, and were acting solely to protect yourself, will be a strong defense that can prevent your conviction under the disorderly conduct statute.
Contact a skilled disorderly conduct attorney in Florida
If you are arrested for disorderly conduct in Martin County, Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County, or Monroe County, Sando Law, P.A. will employ its full knowledge of the law to defend you. Contact us today at 561-296-1665.