Disorderly Conduct Defense in Tampa, FL

What is Disorderly Conduct in Tampa, Florida?

A person commits the offense of Disorderly Conduct in Florida when:

  1. The person commits an act that corrupts the public morals, outrages the sense of public decency, or affects the peace and quiet of persons;

Or when,

  1. The person engages in brawling or fighting.

Maximum penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Tampa, Florida

Disorderly Conduct in Florida is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of:

  • 60 days in jail
  • 6 months of probation
  • $500 fine

Possible Defenses to a Disorderly Conduct in Tampa Charge

First Amendment

Pursuant to the United States Constitution, Florida laws normally cannot restrict a person's freedom of speech. Therefore the words a person speaks will rarely result in a conviction for Disorderly Conduct in Florida.

For example, an accused generally cannot be convicted for Disorderly Conduct in Tampa, Florida when he or she merely screams, swears or directs insults at a law enforcement officer. However, if along with the screaming, swearing, and insults an accused engaged in physical actions that obstructed the officer from doing his or her duty, a person could be convicted of disorderly conduct in Florida.

There are other situations in which a person's words can result in a Disorderly Conduct in Tampa, Florida conviction.

First, a person can be convicted of Disorderly Conduct in Florida if they use “fighting words.” “Fighting words,” are words that are likely to cause an average person to whom they are addressed to fight.

Second, a person can be convicted of disorderly conduct in Florida if they speak words that they know are false and those words create a danger of bodily harm to others. For example, if a person were to scream “fire!” just to get a better seat at a crowded concert, this conduct would create a danger that people might be injured as they attempt to flee the area.

Self Defense

Because an accused can be convicted of Disorderly Conduct in Florida if they engage in brawling or fighting, an accused may claim that they fought or brawled in self-defense. However, the defense applies only if the defendant did not provoke the brawl or fight.

Are you looking for the best Disorderly Conduct lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of Disorderly Conduct. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has extensive experience handling Disorderly Conduct cases.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for Disorderly Conduct in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, contact Attorney David C. Hardy. He has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.