Disorderly Conduct and Disorderly Intoxication

Disorderly Conduct and Disorderly Intoxication in Florida

Disorderly Conduct, also known as Breach of Peace, occurs when someone disturbs the peace or engages in unruly or other unacceptable public behaviors. Disorderly Intoxication occurs when someone who is intoxicated engages in unruly public behaviors that endanger the safety of another person or property or causes a public disturbance. As simple as these crimes sound, there are technicalities, as with many crimes, which may serve as a defense. If you have been accused of Disorderly Conduct or Disorderly Intoxication in Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach County, our criminal defense attorneys may be able to help.

Definitions of Disorderly Conduct and Disorderly Intoxication in Florida

Disorderly Conduct, or Breach of the Peace, as defined by § 877.03, Florida Statutes, involves acting in a way that disturbs the peace and quiet of the public, corrupts the public morals, engages in fighting, disturbs a lawful assembly of persons, or otherwise engages in activities that can cause issues with or outrage the sense of public decency.

The state’s attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of Disorderly Conduct by establishing that the defendant caused a disturbance in a public place.

Disorderly Intoxication, as defined by § 856.011, Florida Statutes, involves being intoxicated and endangering the safety of another person or property, or causing a disturbance in public; or drinking any alcoholic beverage in a public place or in or upon any public conveyance and causing a public disturbance.

The state’s attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of Disorderly Intoxication by establishing one (1) the following elements of the crime:

(1) The defendant was intoxicated or drinking an alcoholic beverage and endangered the safety of persons or property; or

(2) The defendant was intoxicated or drinking an alcoholic beverage and caused a disturbance in a public place

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct and Disorderly Intoxication in Florida

(1) Breach of the Peace; Disorderly Conduct is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days and a fine of up to $500 as provided in § 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

(2) Disorderly Intoxication is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days and a fine of up to $500 as provided in § 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

(3) A defendant convicted of Disorderly Intoxication, or forfeiting collateral under the provisions of Disorderly Intoxication, three (3) times in 12 months is considered a habitual offender and may be committed to an appropriate treatment resource for a period of not more than 60 days.

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct and Disorderly Intoxication in Florida

(1) First Amendment right to freedom of speech

(2) Self defense

(3) No evidence that an unruly crowd responded to or acted on the words of the accused person

(4) No person or property was in any danger

(5) The alleged disturbance was a minor nuisance or annoyance

(6) Disturbance did not endanger any person or property and was on private property where accused person was invited

(7) The accused person was singled out from a large group even though not behaving any differently from the group

Examples of Disorderly Conduct or Disorderly Intoxication in Florida

(1) Engaging in a brawl or fight

(2) Inciting a riot

(3) Noisily shouting and arguing while walking along a public street causing those who live along or above the street to awaken

(4) Disturbing the peace in a public place after heavy drinking

(5) Being drunk and unruly in a public area

(6) Deliberately destroying property, such as a trash can or mailbox or window, after or while drinking

Contact Us

If you have been charged with the crime of Disorderly Conduct or Disorderly Intoxication in Broward, Miami-Dade, or Palm Beach County, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected. The Law Office of Sean Clayton, P.A., can help you better understand your situation and your options. Contact us today for your free consultation.