When determining whether or not to make a criminal arrest, police will not politely do a background check to see if you are a good person or an upstanding member of society. Officers will not spend any time determining how an arrest record might affect your future or your family’s future. As a boutique criminal defense firm, we often handle cases for people facing criminal charges for the first time. Those clients are often shocked and dismayed that their arrests occurred after little or no investigation and no consideration from the police about the defendant’s side of the story. If you are ever charged with a criminal offense, you should immediately consult with a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer.
There are a multitude of crimes on the books that don’t necessarily carry serious prison or jail time, but that can remain on your record hindering future job or educational prospects. One of the most common crimes under that umbrella is disorderly intoxication. Disorderly intoxication in Florida is a broadly defined and vague law that essentially allows cops to make arrests when they don’t like the attitude of the person they are dealing with. If the defendant has had any alcohol, officers can justify their arrest by claiming the person was causing a disturbance. And while crimes like this don’t often result in jail sentences, they can stay on one’s record and cause problems in the future.Elements Of Disorderly Intoxication
Disorderly intoxication is prohibited under Florida Statute 856.011. Under the statute, a person is guilty of disorderly intoxication if the State can prove that the defendant was intoxicated and endangered the safety of another person or property. The defendant can alternatively be convicted if he or she is proven to have been intoxicated or to have consumed alcohol and caused a “public disturbance.” The problem with this and many other crimes is that the vague nature of the statute leaves it up to the police to determine what is meant by “endangering the safety of a person or property” and “public disturbance.” Vague, unspecific laws give overbroad power to police to define the laws as they see fit and to arrest people who they think fall under their own definition of “disorderly intoxication.” Anyone facing such charges should reach out to a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer for a consultation right away.
Disorderly intoxication is a second degree misdemeanor. This means that a conviction can carry a maximum sentence of 6o days in jail. More problematic is that an arrest will be visible on your record. While prosecutors might offer you a favorable plea deal, a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer may be able to present and fight for other options to protect your future. Some resolutions may result in a criminal arrest record for disorderly intoxication remaining on your record forever. However, some results can be fought for and negotiated that will result in your record being sealed or expunged.
Multiple time convictions for disorderly intoxication can also cause problems. Anyone convicted for three disorderly intoxication offenses within a span of one year can face mandatory commitment by the court into a drug or alcohol treatment facility. It is rare that courts can exercise their power to force people into facilities against their will, but this is one of the example where the statute gives them that power. Hiring a skilled lawyer can help you avoid these and other enhanced penalties.Speak With Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law are committed to offering a high standard of service to their clients. Whether your problem is big or small, we treat your case as if it is the most important case we handle. To see the difference and learn how we can work toward protecting your rights, schedule a consultation with us today at 727.289.0222.