Disorderly Conduct Lawyers in Orlando, Florida
Musca Law Firm Orlando - Just One Phone Call Away
If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, it is in your best interest to obtain the services of an attorney. Here at Orlando's Musca Law Firm, we review your case and explain things to you in a way that you can understand. We realize that not everyone understands “legal” jargon. It is our priority for you to feel comfortable with how we explain the entire process and we will walk you through the entire case. Our number one goal is to serve you professionally in a manner that is personable and unique in your case.
Our attorneys will start defending your rights from the first moment you are our client. We will go to bat for you in court to keep your freedom, as we know how valuable it is. Please call us at (888) 484-5057 to set up your initial consultation.
Disorderly Conduct Offenses in Orlando
Under Florida Statutes 877.03, disorderly conduct is defined as, “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, punishable as provided in statutes 775.082 or statutes 775.083.” It can also be referred to as a breach of the peace or disturbing the peace.
There are disorderly conduct laws in place that permit a police officer to arrest an individual that is being offensive or disruptive to the public. The law also covers any action that will interfere with another person’s enjoyment of a public place.
Examples That Could Potentially Be Classified as Disorderly Conduct
- Acts of nature such as to corrupt public morals
- Use of extremely obscene or abusive language
- Loud and unreasonable noise
- Arguing with law enforcement officers trying to control a crowd of people
- Urinating in public
- Protests that are disruptive and block roadways
- Acts that outrage the sense of public decency
- Acts that affect the peace and quiet of those who witness them
- Brawling or fighting
- Public intoxication
- Fighting or physical altercations
- Reporting false threats to law enforcement
- Obstructing traffic
- Inciting a riot
- Disturbance of the peace
- Loitering in certain Areas
Verbal Abuse and Battery of a Law Enforcement Official in Orlando
Verbal abuse is defined as an act of insulting, criticizing, or denouncing another person. This is a destructive form of communication that someone may use after being angry or upset; it is intended to harm others. Often, verbal abuse is threatening, degrading, condescending, or manipulative. If a person is verbally using words to demean, control, or frighten someone, it is considered verbal abuse.
Battery for a law enforcement official is the unlawful touching or striking of any law enforcement official. Various officials can be considered law enforcement:
- Ordinary police
- Correctional officers
- Probation officers
- Employees of the department of corrections who supervise or provide services to inmates
- Parking enforcement officers
- Part-time police and correctional officers
- Auxiliary law enforcement
- Auxiliary correctional officers
- Law enforcement explorers
- Traffic enforcement officers
- Officers of the fishing and wildlife conservation commission
- Federal law enforcement officers
Others that are protected in this same manner include:
- Community college security personal
- Emergency medical care providers
- All public transit employees (bus drivers, train conductors, maintenance personnel, etc.)
Aggravated battery on a law enforcement official is defined as the intentional touching of a law enforcement officer with an intent to do great bodily harm or use a weapon.
Penalties For Verbal Abuse and Battery of Law Enforcement Officials
The penalties for verbal abuse and battery of law enforcement officers in Orlando includes a $5,000 fine. The individual will also face up to five years in prison, five years probation, or both. He or she will be charged with a felony in the third degree.
Should the individual’s conduct turn into aggravated battery, it will result in up to 30 years in prison and will be upgraded to a first-degree felony. The minimum prison sentence will be five years per the Florida Statutes 784.07(2)(d).
Defenses For Verbal Abuse and Battery of Law Enforcement Officials
When contesting a charge of verbal abuse or battery of law enforcement officials, the following defenses have been used in Orlando:
- Law enforcement officers were not engaged in lawful duty
- Private sector employment
- Excessive force
- Incidental touching
- Reflexive actions
- Lack of knowledge
Public Intoxication: An Act of Disorderly Conduct in Orlando, Florida
Under the Florida Statutes 856.011, it states, “No person in the state shall be intoxicated and endanger the safety of another person or property, and no person in the state shall be intoxicated or drink any alcoholic beverage in a public place or in or upon any public conveyance and cause a public disturbance.”
Intoxication is defined as, “so affected by the alcoholic beverage as to have lost or been deprived of the normal control of either his/her body or his/her mental faculties, or both.” Intoxication is synonymous with “drunk.”
If there is a charge of public intoxication, the prosecution will need to prove the following elements in the case:
- The individual was intoxicated and endangered the safety of another person or property.
- The individual was intoxicated or drinking an alcoholic beverage in a public place, causing a disturbance.
Penalties for Public Intoxication
Public intoxication is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor. A fee of $500 will be imposed, as well as up to 60 days in jail. If the defendant is convicted of public intoxication, it will go on his or her permanent record. This will never be allowed to be expunged.
Public Intoxication Defenses Commonly Used
There are many public intoxication defenses that can be used in Florida. These include:
- Lack of proof that the individual was intoxicated
- The incident occurred in a place that was not public or was privately owned
- First Amendment/Free Speech
- Self-defense (where there was a physical altercation)
- No endangerment to public or public safety
- Factual dispute as to whether the incident was really a "public disturbance”
- Defense to others (in the case of a physical altercations)
Vagrancy: An Act of Disorderly Conduct in Orlando
Vagrancy, also referred to as prowling or loittering, is unlawful in Florida. It is defined as an individual that maintains a presence in a place or manner or time that is unusual. It will indicate that there is a threat to a person’s safety or property.
Florida Statutes, 856.021(1) states, "It is unlawful for any person to loiter or prowl in a place at a time or in a manner unusual for law-abiding individuals, under circumstances that warrant a justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of people or property in the vicinity."
In order to be charged with vagrancy, the prosecution must prove these two elements:
- Individuals loitered or prowled in a time, place or manner that was unusual for abiding citizens.
- The individual’s behavior was warranted justifiable and reasonable alarm or concern for any person in that area, as well as the safety of the property.
Vagrancy is a misdemeanor in the second degree. This will result in a fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail. A person could also receive up to 6 months of probation.
Defense of Vagrancy in Orlando
The following defenses may be used for vagrancy:
- No imminent threat/breach of peace
- Mere idleness
- Police not present
- After the justifications of the facts
- No opportunity to explain
Disorderly Conduct Charges and Criminal Records
If you have been convicted of disorderly conduct, it should be taken seriously. Even if you were charged with a misdemeanor, it is an offense that does not look good on a record. Think about your future. What you do now will greatly affect the rest of your life. You do not want a criminal record haunting you.
Depending on how you are charged could affect various aspects of your life. You may not be allowed to hold a professional license for certain jobs. It could also affect an employer hiring you in the future. There are bank loans, college loans, and housing to think about. Many landlords will not rent to those that have been convicted of a felony.
What to Look For in a Disorderly Conduct Attorney
When looking for a disorderly conduct attorney, consider following these tips.
- What sort of experience does the lawyer have? Find out how long the attorney has been practicing law.
- How will the attorney communicate with you? Will they allow you to call them within hours to see what the case is doing? Or if you have an important question, will someone be available to answer it for you? It is advisable to find out approximately how long it will take them to respond back to you after leaving them a message.
- What sort of references do they have? If you ask an attorney for references, and they do not oblige, then you may wish to look further.
- Will the attorney make your case a top priority? If they have too many cases going on at once, it could be possible that you slip through the cracks on some aspects. Let your attorney know upfront that you want to be a top priority for them.
- Does your attorney display empathy? Every case is different, so you need a lawyer that will understand that you, just like your case, are unique. Look for an attorney that will look for solutions that will fit your needs and wants, not just what is standard.
If you have hired an attorney before, think back to how you were treated. Did the actual attorney talk to you on the phone when need be, or did he or she have someone else do it? And if you visit their office, are you served right away? Or do you sit in the waiting room for extended periods before being shown to the lawyer’s office?
If you have already had a consultation with an attorney, did they dedicate that time to you? Did they act interested in your case? Or were they worried about taking the phone calls that were coming in while you were meeting?
All of these are reasonable things to think about when looking for an attorney for disorderly conduct. After all, it is your future that is on the line.
Protect Your Freedom with Orlando’s Musca Law
At Musca Law Firm in Orlando, we handle various criminal cases, such as criminal cases involve society instead of individuals or organizations of people.
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, it is imperative that you contact us as soon as possible. Once you are our client, we will handle all communication with law enforcement officers. Any paperwork that needs to be filled out will be done by our office and submitted for you. We will review all reports and interview any witnesses that need to be spoken to. One of our attorneys will be with you the entire way, representing you at your arraignment. We will fight for your rights and make sure that if you do have bail, it is set at a reasonable level.
What sets Musca Law Firm apart from other attorneys is that we provide a personal service with a 24 hour a day answering service. If you are pulled over at 2 am on a Friday night, you can call us. If you have a question at 7 at night on a Tuesday that is urgent, you can call us. Or if you have an emergency during a holiday, we are here for you. We realize that life happens outside of 9 to 5.
We offer the best advice to our clients and will work hard to find a solution that works for you. Please call us at (888) 484-5057 to schedule your free consultation.