If you or a loved one has been arrested for disorderly conduct or disorderly intoxication, it is critical to consult with an experienced Miami disorderly conduct attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. You need the counsel of an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of resolving your case with a favorable outcome
Disorderly conduct is an extremely common misdemeanor charge that police officers often use to demonstrate their authority and/or gain control over a situation. Many people arrested for disorderly conduct feel that they have done nothing wrong and have difficulty understanding why they were arrested. It is not uncommon for a person arrested for disorderly conduct to say that they were just asking the officer a question and were then put under arrest. Legally, disorderly conduct is conduct in a public place which rises to the level of a “breach of the peace.” Drawing the line between a “breach of the peace” and freedom of speech can be very difficult. Consequently, First Amendment issues are often implicated in a disorderly conduct case.
Ultimately, it is up to police to decide who they will arrest for disorderly conduct. As dedicated defense lawyers, we are on your side and fight aggressively on your behalf, working to level the playing field and obtain justice. Securing your freedom and avoiding criminal penalties is our top priority.
What is Disorderly Conduct?
Disorderly conduct is defined under Florida Statutes, Section 877.03 as an individual breaching the peace by acting in a manner that outrages the sense of public decency, corrupts public morals, or affects the peace and quiet of any individual who witnesses the conduct. This can encompass many types of conduct including:
- Physical fights
- Verbal fights that disturb the peace
- Unreasonably loud noise
- Loud profanity and obscenity
- Making a scene
- Yelling at the police
- Causing a crowd to gather
- Inciting others
There is an almost identical offense called disorderly conduct on the premises of an establishment. The only difference being that the conduct happened in an establishment (restaurant, bar, club, etc.) instead of in public.
Regardless, just because a police officer arrests you for doing one of these things in public or in an establishment doesn’t mean that you are guilty of disorderly conduct. As noted above, sometimes police officers arrest people who are validly exercising their First Amendment rights. This is why it is vital that anyone arrested for this offense consult with a skilled and experienced attorney with a proven track record for defending clients charged with disorderly conduct.
Defenses to Disorderly Conduct
Sometimes an obvious defense arises when the incident occurred on private property because of the requirement that the alleged conduct occur in public. In cases of physical fights, self-defense can be raised as a defense. And as mentioned previously, the First Amendment right to free speech can also be raised as a defense in many cases.
What is Disorderly Intoxication?
Disorderly intoxication is related to, but not identical to the crime of disorderly conduct. Under Florida law, a person commits disorderly intoxication in one of two ways:
- By endangering the safety of persons or property while intoxicated; or
- Causing a public disturbance while intoxicated.
When the State alleges someone committed disorderly intoxication by causing a public disturbance, the offense is almost identical to the crime of disorderly conduct. Basically, the only difference is the added requirement that the person be intoxicated. As a result, the defenses available to someone charged with disorderly conduct apply with equal force to someone charged with disorderly intoxication. A person charged with disorderly intoxication also can raise the defense that there is a lack of proof that they were intoxicated. Police officers who make disorderly intoxication arrests rarely, if ever, ask the defendant to take a breath alcohol test.
If you are accused of endangering the safety of people or property while you are intoxicated, the State has to prove that your conduct posed a danger to public safety in some way. Endangering the public safety is very similar to a “breach of the peace,” so many of the same defenses can be utilized if you are charged in this way.
Disorderly Conduct and Disorderly Intoxication Penalties
According to Florida law, disorderly conduct and disorderly intoxication are second-degree misdemeanors. Accordingly, people who are found guilty of either crime may face penalties that include fines of up to $500, a maximum of 60 days in jail, or both. That’s why it is so important to hire an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible to defend you.
Over the years, we have represented hundreds of clients charged with disorderly conduct or disorderly intoxication. There is a good chance that we have dealt with your type of case and have represented clients who shared similar needs and concerns that you may have. Feel free to browse through the results section of our site for a representative sample of some of our past cases, and the results we have achieved for our clients.
Contact an Experienced Miami Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
By taking the immediate action of hiring an experienced Miami disorderly conduct lawyer to defend you, you are minimizing the chances that your criminal case will have lasting consequences for your career, personal life, and reputation. CALL US NOW for a CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION at (305) 538-4545, or simply take a moment to fill out our securely encrypted intake form. The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry.
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The material on this page represents general legal advice. Since the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained here may be out of date. It is always best to consult a criminal defense attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your particular case.