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Criminal Defense in Your Neck of the Woods

Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is oftentimes a “catch all” charge that a law enforcement officer may use if no other elements of any other crime apply.  Frequently disorderly conduct occurs when alcohol is involved other times disorderly conduct becomes what is known as a “lesser included offense”. Many times a crime such as disorderly conduct can be a negotiated plea that is reduced from an original charge such as assault, battery, or public intoxication. If you have no criminal history you may be eligible for pre-trial diversion.  Disorderly conduct  is only a second degree misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 6 months probation. The most common defense to this crime is “fighting words”. “Fighting words” is language that a reasonable prudent person would have no other choice but to engage in fighting; nonetheless, here is a look at the statute:

877.03  Breach of the peace; disorderly conduct.--Whoever commits such acts as are 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 or disorderly conduct, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.

509.143  Disorderly conduct on the premises of an establishment; detention; arrest; immunity from liability.--

(1) An operator may take a person into custody and detain that person in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable time if the operator has probable cause to believe that the person was engaging in disorderly conduct in violation of s. 877.03 on the premises of the licensed establishment and that such conduct was creating a threat to the life or safety of the person or others. The operator shall call a law enforcement officer to the scene immediately after detaining a person under this subsection.

(2) A law enforcement officer may arrest, either on or off the premises of the licensed establishment and without a warrant, any person the officer has probable cause to believe violated s. 877.03 on the premises of a licensed establishment and, in the course of such violation, created a threat to the life or safety of the person or others.

(3)  An operator or a law enforcement officer who detains a person under subsection (1) or makes an arrest under subsection (2) is not civilly or criminally liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention on the basis of any action taken in compliance with subsection (1) or subsection (2).

(4) A person who resists the reasonable efforts of an operator or a law enforcement officer to detain or arrest that person in accordance with this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, unless the person did not know or did not have reason to know that the person seeking to make such detention or arrest was the operator of the establishment or a law enforcement officer.

Contact Central Florida Criminal Defense Attorney, Ryan Yadav, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, for a free consultation if you have been charged, accused, or under investigation for the crime of disorderly conduct.

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