Many people charged with seemingly minor offenses often make the mistake of forgoing a lawyer and simply pleading guilty or no contest to such offenses in order to avoid the expense of an attorney and the dragged out nature of the criminal justice system. Taking a plea on any criminal case without consulting a dedicated Clearwater criminal defense attorney is ALWAYS a mistake. While resolving your case in such a manner might ultimately be in your best interest, a dedicated lawyer can often fight to reduce or dismiss the charges, which can protect your future from the sometimes devastating effects of a criminal record.
We often get calls from prospective clients wondering if it is even “worth it” to hire a lawyer to defend them on minor criminal charges like possession of cannabis or disorderly intoxication. Our advice is almost always the same – it is absolutely worth it. Disorderly intoxication is a criminal charge that is often levied against people who get on the wrong side of a police officer. Because of the vague nature of the law and the fact that the prosecution can define disorderly intoxication in just about any way they want means that bad cops are rarely punished for arresting people on such bogus charges. And it means that the people who are arrested often face the penalties of these charges. While someone facing a disorderly intoxication conviction might not be looking down the barrel of a lengthy jail sentence, the ramifications of a conviction can still have a significant effect on one’s future.Elements of Disorderly Intoxication
Disorderly intoxication is prohibited and punished under Florida Statute 877.03. The law states that whoever commits acts that are of a nature to corrupt the public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quite of other persons, or engages in brawling, or engages in such intoxication as to constitute a beach of the peace, commits disorderly intoxication. If you think that law sounds like it was written by someone who was purposefully trying to confuse the reader, you are probably not alone. Criminal laws are often not designed to be clear. To the contrary, lawmakers draft criminal laws to be as vague as possible so that police officers can make arrests for all sorts of different things that they might not like. Vague laws are also challengeable in the court of law, and a dedicated Clearwater criminal lawyer can help you beach charges like these.
When people are first arrested for minor criminal charges like these, judges at first appearance court or arraignment will often give them the option to simply plead guilty to one day time served or order them to pay a fine. While in the moment, this type of resolution can seem attractive, it can have negative long term effects. A criminal arrest record can and will haunt a person for life. In Florida, arrest records are permanent and sealing and expunging records is very restrictive. If you agree to plead to a time served sentence for example, you will most likely be legally prohibited from seeking the expungement of your criminal history. While having a disorderly intoxication or other minor offense on your record might not be a big deal, it is important to understand that a conviction for even a minor crime like that will result in your inability to expunge ANY criminal record past or future. Don’t let a minor mistake have detrimental effects on the rest of your life, hire a dedicated Clearwater criminal lawyer to protect your rights and fight for your liberty.Speak to our Lawyers
The lawyers at Hanlon Law pride themselves on their ability to achieve extraordinary results for their clients. We are committed to going above and beyond for your legal needs. For a consultation, call us today at 727.897.5413.