Resisting arrest, disorderly intoxication, and disorderly conduct arrests are common charges in Broward County. These disorderly crimes are taken very seriously by law enforcement in the State of Florida and any allegation of a disorderly crime should be understood by the accused offender as equally serious.  Our criminal defense firm successfully defends clients charged with property crimes ranging from misdemeanors to first degree felonies punishable by life in prison.  If you have been arrested for a property crime, call our office now to schedule your free consultation with a Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer, (954) 256-1464. It is important to hire an experienced, former prosecutor who understands the State Attorney’s strategy in prosecuting these charges. In the event you would like to read more and understand the basics of common disorderly crimes charged in South Florida, we have created an easy to understand outline of this class of crimes.

Definition of Disorderly Intoxication

Under Florida law, disorderly intoxication is being visibly intoxicated and causing a disturbance in public that could possibly put someone at risk of danger and causes a witnessing crowd to develop.

Definition of Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct laws give police officers the authority to arrest anyone whose behavior in public is offensive or disruptive. These actions interfere with others pleasure of public places. This is also referred to as “disturbing the peace”.

Definition of Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest takes place when a person interferes with a police officer’s attempt to perform a lawful duty. This crime is broken into misdemeanor and felony level charges, depending on the severity of the offender’s actions.

Common Charges:

  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Disorderly Intoxication
  • Resisting Arrest Without Violence
  • Resisting Arrest With Violence

Defending a Disorderly or Resisting Arrest Crime

Meeting with a criminal defense attorney and discussing your case is extremely important because you may be unaware of defenses to your disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication, or resisting arrest case.  No case is unsolvable and there is always more than one possible outcome to any criminal case.  When faced with a disorderly conduct charge the first defense to consider is self-defense. If the charge is for engaging with violence such as fighting, it is viable to claim that you were protecting yourself from being assaulted.

For disorderly conduct, freedom of speech is a common defense. This defense can be used when you are charged with making excessive or “unreasonable” noise. This can pertain to loud speaking or loud disturbances through words or sounds. Freedom of speech can also help when you are charged with engaging in an argument that takes place in public. It’s easier to beat this charge by claiming that you have the legal right to do so. However, this defense can only be used in appropriate situations and the speech must be of a certain nature to qualify for this standard of protection.

A defense to disorderly intoxication is lack of proof as to intoxication. If there is no physical proof that you were intoxicated with use of a breathalyzer test or valid camera footage, then your charges may be attacked. Another defense is no endangerment to public safety. This gives law enforcement the burden of proving that your intoxication led to or may have led to the harm of people in a public area. A third defense that can be used is lack of evidence as to whether the drunkenness constitutes a “public disturbance” at all.

Resisting arrest can be defended in numerous ways. A defense could be that the supposed offender’s actions were not intentional and knowing, but were a result of the law enforcement officer applying handcuffs or other restraint to the defendant. Another defense could be that the accused was unaware that the person he/she resisted was a police officer. This can easily happen when the officer is undercover, or off duty and not wearing a badge to identify their title. A third defense to resisting arrest is that the arresting law enforcement officer used excessive and/or unnecessary force that led to the defendant’s actions. Therefore, it is up for argument that it was appropriate for them to repel the force brought upon them

Disorderly Intoxication, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest Penalties

Disorderly Intoxication

Under Florida law, being charged with disorderly intoxication is classified as a second degree misdemeanor, and can result in up to sixty days in jail and a five-hundred dollar fine. If the accused is convicted they will acquire a permanent criminal record, which can never be expunged or sealed.

Resisting Arrest

In Broward County, resisting an officer without violence is a first degree misdemeanor. This charge is punishable by up to one year in jail and fine amounting up to $1,000.  Resisting an officer with violence is classified as a third degree felony. Punishments may include up to five years in prison or five years of probation and a fine up to $5,000.

Disorderly Conduct

In the Florida statute, disorderly conduct is also referred to as a breach of peace and is classified as a second degree misdemeanor. The defendant can receive a sentence in jail lasting up to sixty days. They may also be responsible for a fine in the amount $500. Disorderly conduct with violence is charged as a first degree misdemeanor and a riot is charged as a third degree felony.

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney

A disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct crime arrest is enough to damage an otherwise clean criminal record.  If you have been arrested for a disorderly or resisting crime such as disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest, or disorderly conduct, you should meet with a defense attorney to discuss your options.  The Fort Lauderdale criminal law firm of Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. has frequently and successfully defended disorderly and resisting crime cases in Broward County and we want to help.  Call our office now to speak with a criminal defense attorney, (954) 256-1464.  We understand disorderly and resisting crimes arrest can be personal so we guarantee absolute confidentiality in your private consultation with our attorneys and staff.