Disorderly conduct offenses are commonly referred to as breaches of the peace under Florida law. They can result in spending up to 60 days in jail, paying fines of up to $500 fine, and having a criminal record which can affect your ability to rent an apartment, obtain employment, and receive financial aid or assistance.
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct or breaching the peace, contact a Plantation disorderly conduct lawyer to discuss the charges against you, determine which legal defenses might apply to your situation, and evaluate whether there is a possibility to have those charges dropped altogether or mitigated through a plea bargain. Work with an experienced criminal defense attorney and rest assured that you are in capable hands.
How Does Florida Define Disorderly Conduct?
Under Florida Statutes Section 877.03, disorderly conduct refers to acts of a nature to 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, or engages in such conduct as to constitute a breach of the peace.
Essentially, that means fighting, demonstrating, or engaging in disruptive acts which affect someone else’s peace and quiet. Florida classifies disorderly conduct / breach of peace charges as second-degree misdemeanors which can result in penalties of up to 60 days in jail or six months of probation and a $500 fine. A Plantation disorderly conduct lawyer can mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.
Defenses to Disorderly Conduct / Breach of the Peace
Florida recognizes several defenses to disorderly conduct and breach of the peace, including:
- Acting in Self-Defense: This can apply in situations where someone was merely defending themselves – typically in a fight
- Being Loud: Being loud, annoying, or belligerent is generally not enough to sustain disorderly conduct / breach of the peace charges
- Engaging in Protected Speech: Purely verbal conduct is protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
- Making a Scene: Making a scene or causing a crowd to gather – without more or inciting violence – is generally not enough to sustain charges
- Shouting Obscenities: Using profanity or shouting obscenities towards law enforcement officials – typically during a demonstration – is generally not enough to sustain charges
Disorderly conduct and breach of the peace offenses must include something more than words or actions which do not incite violence. However, prosecutors often read more into these acts than was intended or resulted.
This is where an experienced Plantation disorderly conduct attorney can be of most help as they may have an understanding of how specific prosecutors and judges in the Plantation area treat disorderly conduct and breach of peace offenses.
Consulting a Plantation Disorderly Conduct Attorney
If you have been charged with a disorderly conduct or breach of the peace offense, contact a Plantation disorderly conduct lawyer to review the charges against you and determine whether it is possible to have the charges against you dismissed or mitigated through a plea bargain.
It is important to keep in mind that first-time offenders may be able to have disorderly conduct charges dismissed or reduced by providing some type of community service.
Make no mistake, having a misdemeanor conviction for disorderly conduct or breach of the peace can affect not only your reputation, but can also affect access to employment, housing, education, and more. Contact a disorderly conduct attorney that can fight for a positive outcome for you.