Disorderly Conduct and Obstruction of Justice
At Blake & Dorsten, we defend people throughout the Tampa Bay region who have been charged with a wide range of offenses. Our St. Petersburg criminal defense attorneys are former state prosecutors who understand how judges and juries often approach these cases, and we know how to build convincing arguments for people who are fighting charges. We work diligently at the negotiating table to get charges dropped or reduced whenever possible, but we are ready to aggressively advocate for you at trial when that proves to be appropriate.Understanding Disorderly Conduct and Obstruction of Justice
Disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice are two different types of crimes. Florida’s disorderly conduct law is broadly written to include any conduct that “corrupts the public morals,” “outrages the sense of public decency,” or “affects the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them.” Since thoughts and words are largely protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, however, the crime typically covers physical altercations.
Disorderly conduct is usually considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, in addition to court costs. A person convicted of the crime will also have a criminal record and may face some difficult situations when they apply for a job or look for a new place to live.
Obstruction of justice covers a variety of offenses that are all considered efforts to deflect or impede the efforts of law enforcement. These include crimes like resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, impersonating a police officer, or helping prisoners escape from custody. The monetary penalties and potential jail time that come with an obstruction of justice conviction vary based on the circumstances.
However, a person charged with either of these types of crimes may have many potential rights to assert. The burden is at all times on the state to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime with which you are charged. If it cannot do that, you must be acquitted or have the charges dismissed.
Disorderly conduct cases involving fights, for instance, may give rise to the defense of self-defense. Florida recognizes that people have a right to defend themselves when they believe that they are physically threatened. To argue that you were acting in self-defense, you cannot have started the fight.
Other obstruction cases, on the other hand, may come down to questions of intent. Most obstruction charges require prosecutors to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually meant to get in the way of the criminal justice process. Depending on the situation, this is often hard to prove.Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Petersburg or Surrounding Cities
The attorneys at Blake & Dorsten are dedicated to fighting aggressively for clients in obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct, and other criminal cases. We understand the complicated legal issues that often are disputed, and our St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers have the tenacity to fully protect your rights. From offices in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, we serve people throughout the Tampa Bay region, including in Tampa, Sarasota, Brandon, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Bradenton, as well as other communities in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee Counties. Call us at (727) 286-6141 or contact us online to make a free appointment to discuss your case. We also can assist you if you need a DUI lawyer or assistance with a drug, firearm, theft, assault, or sex crimes charge.