What is a Disorderly Conduct, Drunkenness, Loitering & Prowling or House Party crime in South Florida?

two women hold drinks and laugh in a dimly-lit Fort Lauderdale Bar. disorderly conduct is a catch all crime in South Florida, according to a criminal defense attorneyAll of these crimes together make up a sort of “catch all” crime categories possible for people to get when being boisterous, when in large groups, at bars, or even when at or when throwing a party at your home. So essentially - these are the “party pooper” crimes, if you will. "All's fun & games when having fun?" Maybe think again.

 

Let’s quickly break down what each of the crimes are:

 
  • Disorderly Conduct in Florida is any unreasonable behavior which is likely to cause serious offense or annoyance to other people who you are around. This could happen in a public or private area.
  • Drunkenness - or Disorderly Intoxication-  in Florida s a catch-all crime used by law enforcement to arrest anyone who is drunk and unruly. This could also happen in a public or private space. 
  • Loitering and Prowling in Florida is when a person, or a group of people,  maintain a suspicious presence somewhere - this could mean it’s an unusual place for a person or people to be, a strange time for a person or group of people to be somewhere, or that the presence of a person or people seems to indicate an impending threat to the safety of persons or property.
  • Open House Party in Florida has to do with serving minors alcohol more than it does causing a neighborhood disturbance. Open House Party Crimes in Florida are constituted by a person allowing minors to possess or consume drugs or alcohol at a party authorized at the person’s residence, or when the person who authorized the party at their residence fails to take reasonable action to prevent minors from possessing or consuming drugs or alcohol. For example - if a teenager throws a house party with drugs or alcohol at their house while their parents or guardians are gone, the adults might not be guilty of an open house party crime since they did not “authorize” the party at their residence. 
    • Likewise, say you’re an adult in a home, and you let teenages hang out in your home in an area you have an accessible bar cart or alcohol - even though you are not serving the alcohol or may not even know if the minors are consuming the alcohol, you could be found guilty of an open house party crime due to not taking reasonable actions to prevent the minors from consuming alcohol.  

Consequences of a Disorderly Conduct, Drunkenness, Loitering & Prowling or House Party crime in South Florida?

The crimes of Disorderly Conduct, Disorderly Intoxication, Loitering and Prowling, and Open House Parties are all second-degree misdemeanors in Florida. 

Second-degree misdemeanors traditionally carry consequences of up to 60 days in jail or 6 months on probation and $500 in fines.

 

Depending on the details of the crime, though, you might also be charged with additional crimes or perhaps be committing an aggravated offense or be committing one of these crimes for the second time in your life which will result in a harsher criminal charge against you. 


RELATEDLearn more about ‘Party Pooper’ Crimes here.