Florida Disorderly Conduct Law, Defenses and Information Florida Statute 877.03

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Florida Disorderly Conduct Law
From A Criminal Defense Attorney

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, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.


This site was created to provide free legal information about Florida disorderly conduct charges. If you have been accused of disorderly conduct the site has pages dedicated to Florida disorderly conduct law, Florida disorderly conduct defenses and Florida disorderly conduct punishment or penalties. Legal information for the site was provided by former Florida prosecutor and Daytona Beach DUI lawyer Kevin J. Pitts. Mr. Pitts handled disorderly conduct charges in misdemeanor and juvenile court as a Florida Assistant State Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit in Daytona Beach. Disorderly conduct attorney Kevin J. Pitts is now a Seminole County defense attorney with offices in Sanford and Daytona Beach. For information about breach of the peace or disorderly conduct navigate through the pages of the site.

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)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.

In Florida Disorderly Conduct is often used as a catch all for arrest. When the case law is reviewed most statements that can be made are protected speech. Words alone will rarely be sufficient for a Florida disorderly conduct conviction. Being rude to the police will get you a ride to jail but will rarely be sufficient for a conviction. Disorderly conduct also encompasses fighting and is charged instead of battery when both parties are engaged in mutual combat. The remaining language is somewhat vague and could encompass a wide variety of situations. The constitution and case law prevent the disorderly conduct statute from encompassing almost all behavior.

Disorderly conduct is somewhat unique in that many of the defenses are based upon the first amendment. Free speech covers not only speech but expression. In other criminal statutes the fourth amendment is a common defense. The fourth amendment deals with unreasonable search and seizure. Generally disorderly conduct is dealing with some form of expression. The freedom of expression is broad and words alone are rarely enough to sustain a disorderly conduct conviction. Florida disorderly intoxication also deals with similar first amendment issues. The case law is favorable for the defense in Florida for disorderly conduct and disorderly intoxication. It is explained that law enforcement should show greater restraint In Houston v. Hill, the United States Supreme Court wrote: Today’s decision reflects the constitutional requirement that, in the face of verbal challenges to police action, officers and municipalities must respond with restraint.

We are mindful that the preservation of liberty depends in part upon the maintenance of social order. But the First Amendment recognizes, wisely we think, that a certain amount of expressive disorder not only is inevitable in a society committed to individual freedom, but must its self be protected if that freedom would survive.The appellate courts have repeatedly ruled in favor of allowing broad expression under the first amendment. The broad expression can be applied to many Florida disorderly conduct and Florida disorderly intoxication cases. It is often beneficial if a Florida resisting arrest with or Florida resisting arrest without violence charge is filed based upon the conduct during an illegal disorderly conduct arrest.

* This site is dedicated to Florida disorderly conduct and Florida disorderly intoxication law. Many of the underlying principles come from the 1st amendment and U.S. Supreme Court cases. The Florida case law is not binding on other states but many of the principles discussed would likely be relevant. State laws can vary but all states must follow rulings by the Supreme Court and abide by the U.S. Constitution. *

The information on this Florida Disorderly Conduct Attorneys website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as Florida legal advice or legal advice in any other state for any individual case or situation. This information on this disorderly conduct website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. This sites graphics were generated by St Louis Knee Surgeon.

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