Disorderly conduct is a
misdemeanor offense in the State of Florida.
Under Florida law, disorderly conduct is defined by statute 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."
Unlike disorderly intoxication, someone charged with disorderly conduct
need not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Disorderly conduct is often a trumped-up charge. Cops will sometimes use
this charge to arrest somebody when their is really no good reason to do so.
Some instances of disorderly conduct, however, are more warranted than
others. If two people are fighting in public, they may be charged with
However, a fine line exists between free speech and disorderly conduct.
Cops who don't understand the law may arrest somebody just for being
loud in public.
Sometimes, police officers will arrest somebody for disorderly conduct
for arguing or talking back to them.
You can be taken to jail for disorderly conduct, but most of the time the
police officer will issue you a promise to appear (PTA). Remember, a PTA
is still an arrest.
Disorderly conduct is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum
of 60 days in jail.
Most first-time offenders charged with disorderly conduct will receive
an opportunity to enroll in Pretrial Diversion (PTD). If you have a prior
criminal record, you may be looking at probation or even a jail sentence.
I personally do not like this charge. I think that the statutory language
is too broad, giving cops too much leeway in making frivolous arrests.
It seems as if disorderly conduct is almost a "catch all" for
any behavior a cop doesn't like.
But it is a crime, and that means if you are arrest for it, you will have
a criminal record.
Don't simply plead guilty just to avoid having to deal with the charge. A good
Miami-Dade County criminal defense attorney may be able to get this charge dismissed. Upon dismissal, you may be able
to get the arrest expunged.
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct,
call me to discuss your case.