Facing Disorderly Conduct Charges?
Don’t get blindsided by a surprisingly serious charge
Did you know that in Florida, you can face as much as a year in jail for disorderly conduct charges?
While some might consider disorderly conduct a “minor” offense, your disorderly conduct charge can actually carry some harsh punishments. Short of jail time, you can also face stiff fines, community service, and mandatory classes if convicted of disorderly conduct.
Fortunately, with a bit of help from the right criminal defense attorney, you have a much better opportunity to minimize the impact of a disorderly conduct charge. If you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct, talk to Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law today.
What’s a disorderly conduct charge in Florida?
Disorderly conduct, also known as breach of the peace, is extremely offensive, egregious behavior likely to disturb other people. A person can be charged with disorderly conduct if they are found to be “disturbing the peace,” endangering the public, or preventing other people from enjoying the usage of public areas.
Some examples of disorderly conduct include:
- Public Intoxication: In many areas, public intoxication is classified as disorderly conduct. Some regions have specific Public Intoxication charges, while others simply charge as Disorderly Conduct. In some areas, this charge is referred to as “Drunk and Disorderly.”
- Fighting: Engaging in a fight can carry major charges, including assault, but it is also considered a form of disorderly conduct.
- Public Misconduct: Engaging in private behaviors in a public space can be a form of disorderly conduct. This might include things like public urination, public masturbation, or public nudity.
- Disturbing an Assembly: If your behavior is disruptive or violates rules of an assembly such as a public rally, religious event, or political event, you may be charged with disorderly conduct.
As an extremely broad charge, disorderly conduct charges are often used as a sort of “catch all” charge by police to manage disruptive individuals. This means that it is also one of the most defensible things you can be charged with, especially as many cases lack strong evidence other than hearsay.
Disorderly conduct is almost always a misdemeanor charge. While it often results in little more than a fine, extreme cases can result in jail time.
Because disorderly conduct is such a broad category, the best way to understand the severity of your charges is to consult a competent defense lawyer who will be capable of dissecting the unique details of your case.
What constitutes disturbing the peace?
Disturbing the peace (also known as a breach of the peace) is the basis of disorderly conduct.
Exactly what constitutes a breach of the peace can vary depending on the circumstances, moment to moment. Individuals who are disturbing the peace are exhibiting extreme behavior which other people are likely to find disturbing or disruptive.
This could mean they are making extremely loud noises, fighting physically or verbally, or behaving in a threatening or disturbing manner.
Is cursing considered disorderly conduct?
While cursing on its own is not disorderly conduct, it can be a disruptive behavior that could constitute a breach of the peace under some circumstances. For instance, if the language is used to disrupt a public event, yelled at extreme volume, or used in a manner which disturbs the public, it could be part of a disorderly conduct charge.
An experienced defense attorney will fight your disorderly conduct charge
Because disorderly conduct charges can be extremely broad — and in many cases difficult to prove — a competent attorney can often find a strong case for contesting disorderly conduct charges.
You don’t have to just live with disorderly conduct charges. With the right legal strategy, you can nip your disorderly conduct charge in the bud. I have extensive experience in challenging disorderly conduct charges of all varieties. I’ve seen the whole spectrum of disorderly conduct charges and proven effective at contesting them and minimizing their impact.
The key is to act quickly. Don’t be intimidated by police and prosecutors; get a disorderly conduct defense lawyer on your side. Call today to schedule your free consultation.