Pensacola Defense Lawyers

Fleeing or Eluding a Police Officer in Florida

Posted on Monday, February 17th, 2020 at 1:03 pm    

Most people have been pulled over by law enforcement at least once in their life, whether it was for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), a speeding ticket, not wearing their seatbelt, or driving with expired registration. Usually, people get nervous when they see the red and blue lights flashing in their rear-view mirror. Their heart will race and they feel a rush of adrenaline, which can trigger the body’s “fight or flight response.”

While fleeing may feel like a natural reaction it’s downright illegal. Whether a driver is being pulled over for running a red light, weaving, driving without their headlights on, speeding, blowing through a stop sign, or another traffic offense, they are required to obey the law enforcement officer and stop under Florida law.

What the Law Says

Fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer is covered under Section 316.1935 of the Florida Statutes. Under the law, it’s illegal for a driver, having knowledge that he or she is being pulled over by a law enforcement officer, to refuse to stop their vehicle. It’s also unlawful for a driver to willfully flee in an attempt to escape the officer.

For example, suppose you were stopped on suspicion of drunk driving. The officer walks over to your driver’s side window and asks for your license and registration. Instead of handing it to him, you slam your foot on the gas and speed away so you can get a head start before he can run back to his patrol car and chase you. In this scenario, you would most likely be charged under Sec. 316.1935, and you’d face felony charges.

Depending on the facts of the case, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer is prosecuted as a felony of the first, second, or third degree. Generally, if the person fleeing the officer injured another person or if they caused property damage, then they can be charged with a second or first-degree felony. As a felony of the third degree, the offense is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and by a fine not to exceed $5,000.

Facing felony charges for fleeing a law enforcement officer? Contact The Morris Firm at once for a hard-hitting legal defense.


Arrested for Disorderly Conduct in Florida?

Posted on Monday, February 3rd, 2020 at 1:02 pm    

Have you been arrested for disorderly conduct, also known as “breach of the peace” in Florida? If so, you want to do whatever you can to avoid a conviction because a criminal record will haunt you for years to come.

Even though disorderly conduct is technically a misdemeanor offense, a conviction can have a negative impact on educational, employment, and housing opportunities. A conviction can even affect family law cases involving child custody disputes.

What is disorderly conduct exactly? Under Section 877.03 of the Florida Statutes, disorderly conduct includes:

  • Acts that by their nature, corrupt the public morals
  • Acts that outrage the sense of public decency
  • Acts that affect the peace and quiet of those who witness them
  • Acts that engage in brawling or fighting

Breach of the peace or disorderly conduct under Sec. 877.03 is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 and up to 60 days in jail.

Examples of Disorderly Conduct

Most states have some sort of a law on the books that makes disorderly conduct a crime. Typically, someone can be charged with “disorderly conduct” if they are drunk in public when they blast their car stereo knowing they are upsetting the people around them when they make a lot of noise and fail to stop after being asked to, when they engage in a loud fight in public, or when they get into a physical brawl around people.

Disorderly conduct is one of those nonspecific “catchall crimes” that police charge people with who have been behaving in a disruptive or offensive manner. Often, people are slapped with disorderly conduct when they’re disturbing the peace but are not presenting any actual danger to others around them.

If you’re facing disorderly conduct charges, you don’t want to ignore them. If you were to be convicted, not only would you face fines and possibly incarceration, but you would acquire a criminal record, which will have a negative impact on your future. To explore your legal defenses, contact The Morris Firm 24/7 for a case evaluation.