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Guru_Guy
Guru_Guy, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney trained in criminal law matters, and many years of advising on such matters..
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How to avoid jail for belligurent behavior toward policeman

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Hello. My daughter was stopped for speeding in the state of Florida, where she resides. Despite the officer''s order to remain in the car she came out and started arguing with him and screaming using offensive words but without physical acts. Officer also felt threatened because her boyfriend (who was following her in his car) also attempted to come out. She got arrested and sat in jail for about 7 hours, then released. The fine of $500 was charged for her release but then refunded. After her arrest the officer gave the keys to her car to her boyfriend on the spot. She was slightly drunk then but the officer did not performed any sobriety tests and there is no mention of it in the police report. In his report the officer wrote "belligerent behavior" and the court date is scheduled for July 2008. She has no prior records.
Question: what is the legal definition for this offense, how is it punishable (minimal to maximum) and how to avoid jail and minimize the damage? Thank you very much
Hello,

Belligerent behavior is not a definition of a crime. However, her conduct could be considered "disorderly conduct" which is punishable in Florida by up to a $500 Fine and/or up to 60 days in jail

It could also be defined as Disobeying a Police Officer's Lawful Orders, which could result in a maximum of a $1000 Fine and/or up to 1 year in jail.

It is quite possible that the police could simply choose to drop the charges. If they do charge her with something, it makes a difference which offense is charged. If this does go to trial and this is a first offense, it would usually result in a few hundred dollar fine or community service. Jail time would be unlikely, though it is an option for the court.

If the police decide to file charges, they will notify her of this fact. At that point, your best bet is to have an attorney negotiate with the prosecutor's office. You may get lucky and have the charges dropped, or agree to a negotiated plea deal of a small fine or community service.

I hope this helps!

__________________

Please keep in mind that information in this forum is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and does not constitute creation of an attorney client relationship. Before acting on any such information, you are always advised to consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction who can take the time to review all the facts and laws relevant to your situation.
Guru_Guy and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks for that. So, if understand correctly it does not qualify as a felony? And also, if police did not mention her being under influence, could it still appear on trial? Finally, is the movie shot by police dashboard camera admissable as evidence?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I will pay. But answer the above questions please. Also, does it make sense to hire a lawer before we know weather police filed charges or dismissed the case? How long could it take them to decide? I will ask no more questions.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks for that. So, if understand correctly it does not qualify as a felony? And also, if police did not mention her being under influence, could it still appear on trial? Finally, is the movie shot by police dashboard camera admissable as evidence?
     Customer (Online) -- 1 Accepts/1 Questions

But answer the above questions please. Also, does it make sense to hire a lawer before we know weather police filed charges or dismissed the case? How long could it take them to decide? I will ask no more questions.
Sorry, didn't mean to keep you waiting. I was away from my computer for a few hours.

Neither disorderly conduct nor failure to obey are felonies. Both are misdemeanors.

Police video would be admissible at trial.

Prosecutors could submit any relevant evidence a trial, including any evidence of the defendant's state. However, it would be highly unlikely that they could prosecute for DUI unless the defendant confessed to it. Without any sort of test showing blood alcohol level, it would be very difficult to prove legal intoxication.

It many not be necessary to hire an attorney if police simply decide to drop the charges. However, it might not hurt to start scouting out a potential attorney. If there is an indictment, you would probably want to get someone rather quickly. I certainly would not recommend trying to negotiate a settlement or discussing the event with police without legal representation and advice.

Good Luck!


___________________

Please keep in mind that information in this forum is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and does not constitute creation of an attorney client relationship. Before acting on any such information, you are always advised to consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction who can take the time to review all the facts and laws relevant to your situation.