Defining Disorderly Conduct and Intoxication
Disorderly conduct and disorderly intoxication are some of the most commonly committed offenses in Florida. The Florida statute §877.03 explains that “such acts 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,” and that when a person “engages in brawling or fighting, or engages in such conduct as to constitute a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct,” that they may be charged with either of these offenses.
In most cases, a disorderly conduct offense is determined by the subjective opinion of an arresting officer. Often times, however, there is a difference in how one may interpret each event to determine whether it rises to the level of a criminal violation. For example, there may have been a violation of your First Amendment right to free speech which was wrongly interpreted by a law enforcement officer as a breach of the peace or public safety concern.
Disorderly intoxication charges occur when a person is intoxicated and endangered the safety of another person or property in a public place, or in any public conveyance that causes a public disturbance. These charges typically occur in one of two scenarios:
- When a person is intoxicated or drinks in a public place and causes a public disturbance.
- When a person is intoxicated and endangers the safety of persons or property.
Are Disorderly Conduct Charges Always Valid?
Since charges of disorderly conduct can be dictated only by the opinion of the arresting officer, it is important to know your rights. These charges typically result in misdemeanor convictions or infractions, but you still need proper defense to get them dropped. If you are facing such charges, you should not hesitate to contact McGuire Law Offices upon your arrest. The right criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights and help you avoid the inconvenient and costly consequences of a criminal conviction.