Disorderly conduct laws are an effort to keep local communities running calmly and smoothly. Far from focusing on any single legal offense, disorderly conduct laws are designed to be a "catch-all" type of offense and are therefore used to group laws together which may prohibit any action potentially causing alarm or disturbing the peace of another. If you or a loved one has been charged with disorderly conduct, it's important to understand why you've been charged and to consider the potential effects of a conviction.
Verbal Disorderly Conduct
One of the most contested areas of disorderly conduct is speech, because it is often argued that this type of charge violates an individual's constitutional right to free speech. On the other hand, when charged with this type of disorderly conduct, police will often allege that the defendant was using vocabulary that could fall under threatening, abusive, or indecent language. In some cases, the state may be entitled to prohibit such terminology if they believe it will violate the peace of a community.
Fighting, Lewd Acts and Harassing Behavior
Sometimes individuals may get into disagreements that do not qualify as a direct assault on another. Examples of these actions include bar fights or shooting a gun into the air instead of at a person; when done in public, these acts can be considered disorderly conduct. In other cases, individuals may expose part of their bodies to others, such as in "mooning" or "streaking" cases. In these cases, you may be charged with disorderly conduct.
Disorderly Conduct Consequences
Although you may have considered your disorderly conduct a simple prank or a disagreement that spiraled into something larger, it is a charge that can result in an actual criminal conviction with serious consequences. Typically, you will receive a misdemeanor charge and can receive up to a year in jail or probation.
If you or a loved one has been accused of disorderly conduct, you should contact Musca Law immediately. Our experienced Florida disorderly conduct lawyers can help defend your rights while seeking the most favorable outcome on your behalf. It is our goal to help have the charges against you either reduced or dismissed completely.
Call us today to discuss your potential defense.