shutterstock_533277904The holidays are here. You may be planning on partying with friends or having more low-key celebrations with family. Adult beverages are sure to be included in your revelries. Knowing how to handle yourself after you have been drinking may be a key to not getting arrested.

In some states, you can be charged with public intoxication simply by going outside after having consumed alcohol. Thankfully, Florida isn’t one of those states. Feel free to leave the bar and hail a cab if you must. Just don’t do it while creating a ruckus. If you decide to behave in a way that draws undo attention toward yourself or creates a disturbance, you could very well be charged with a breach of peace.
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Florida’s disorderly conduct laws allow for the arrest and prosecution of people who can’t handle their alcohol. Those who choose to incite riots, scream and yell on a city street, fight with others, obstruct traffic, use abusive or obscene language or make an unreasonable amount of noise can be arrested if those behaviors take place in public. In some instances, an arrest can be made if the behaviors take place on private property.

In Florida, a breach of peace or disorderly conduct charge is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree. You could be sentenced to jail for up to 60 days and be forced to pay fines in an amount not to exceed $500. If you are also charged with a public fight, you could be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree. Incite a riot and you will be facing a third-degree felony.

No one wants to be hit with a criminal charge over the holiday season or at any other time of year. If you will be celebrating the season with friends and family, there are easy ways to avoid such charges.

  • Avoid alcohol if you know that your behavior changes drastically after you consume it.
  • Drink only at a friend or family member’s home.
  • Make plans to spend the night where you consume alcohol if it is a private residence.
  • Decide how you will get home before you start drinking.
  • If you are having an issue with someone else, walk away. This is especially important when there is alcohol involved.
  • If you are approached by the police, remain calm and collected. Flying off the handle is sure to get you arrested if the police suspect alcohol is involved.

While a breach of peace is not the most serious thing that you can be charged with, a conviction has consequences that you don’t want to be faced with. If you are arrested for breach of peace or disorderly conduct in Orlando, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help to lessen the impact of your charges. Reach out to our team today for a free case evaluation. We will advise you of the options available to you under current law. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.