Disorderly Intoxication: What to Do When You’ve Had “One Too Many”

Definition of “Disorderly Intoxication”DisIntoxBeach

 The definition of “disorderly intoxication” under Florida State Law includes an intoxicated person that poses an endangerment to public safety or causes public disturbance while impaired by or consuming alcohol in a public place. The charge is a second-degree misdemeanor.

The definition of “disorderly intoxication” can be found under Section 856.011 of the Florida Statutes. To be sure, the definition notes “No person in the State shall be intoxicated and endanger the safety of another person or property, and no person in the State shall be intoxicated or drink any alcoholic beverage in a public place or in any public conveyance and cause a public disturbance.”

In order to prove “disorderly intoxication” has occurred, the obligation of the State is to prove two elements in order to sustain a conviction:

  1. The defendant was intoxicated and endangered the common safety of lives or property, and,
  2. The defendant was intoxicated and contributed to a public disturbance.

 Possible Penalties

 As noted previously, the charge of “disorderly intoxication” is a second-degree misdemeanor and carries the penalties of up to sixty (60) days in jail and a $500 fine. More importantly, however, is that, if convicted, you will carry a permanent criminal record as a result of this crime. This can have wide-ranging implications as you pursue employment, education, and personal relationships.

 Developing a Defense Strategy

 Consulting an attorney is of paramount importance if faced with a charge of “disorderly intoxication” because of the nuances between cases and prevalence of the charge. The defense strategy employed to combat this charge can range from not endangering public safety to self-defense. Additionally, under certain conditions this charge could impact your First Amendment Rights to speech and exercise of religion.

What about the requirement of “public endangerment?” There can be no conviction for Disorderly Intoxication unless the prosecution succeeds in proving that the accused’s conduct in some way posed a danger to public safety.

 Why You Need to Contact an Attorney

 There are many nuances of a potential case of “disorderly intoxication” to consider before moving forward. My experience as an Assistant State Attorney has exposed me to numerous types of these cases and their commonality lies in their differences. Given the numerous defenses available to contest these charges, an attorney is a vital asset for avoiding a conviction.

If

Arrested for Disorderly Intoxication? My law firm can help.

Arrested for Disorderly Intoxication? My law firm can help.

you have question about your disorderly intoxication case please call my office at 407-415-9626 or email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com.

Key Words: “Disorderly Intoxication,” “Intoxication,” and “Intoxicated”

Food Danger: Personal Injury Due to Foreign Objects or Other Hazardous Items in Food

Food Danger: Personal Injury Due to Foreign Objects or Other Hazardous Items in Food

Injuries from objects in food

Unfortunately, the preparation of food is not always perfect, nor is it always done in the most health-conscious and safest way. In rare cases, there may be foreign objects, such as plastic, pebbles, glass, or hazardous items and insects, such as helminthic worms, that find their way into your meal. If you are injured by a foreign object in your food, whether it is the fault of the manufacturer of the ingredients or the preparer of the meal, you may be able to sue for your injuries.

The Definition of “Foreign Objects”

 In personal injury cases, foreign objects in food would be things that are not reasonably expected to be found by a consumer during consumption. For example, things like stones, rocks or pebbles, glass, or sharp objects may wind up in food. Also, some ingredients that are not suppose to be in some foods or were not listed as an ingredient and the consumer did not expect it would be considered a foreign object. However, this does not mean that all foreign objects are covered. Courts might reject cases involving things that could reasonably be expected in food, such as bones in fish.

Restaurant and Store Liability

Restaurants must follow all state, county, and municipal health regulations. When restaurants violate safety regulations, such as having a foreign object in food, the authorities can fine the restaurant or shut them down temporarily or permanently. Restaurants serving the public are held to a very high legal duty of care and obligation not to unduly harm their customers. This means restaurant owners must do everything that they can to make sure their customers don’t get injured while dining at their restaurant. If a patron to a restaurant is injured chewing or choking on a foreign object in the restaurant, the restaurant can be held liable for the injury even if the restaurant did not know that the object is present.

This extends, also, to grocery and convenience stores, although it is a little bit trickier seeing as, more often than not, these stores are not involved in the direct preparation of the food. Nevertheless, should you find a foreign object in meat, cheese, or produce that was packaged and prepared in store, that store can be held liable.

Common Injuries That Lead to Monetary Damages

 If you do find an unexpected object in your food, you may be able to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Typical injuries that the courts award damages for include:

  • Cuts in the mouth and throat and damaged teeth
  • Illness due to ingestion of the object
  • Allergic reactions by ingredients that were not suppose to be in the food
  • Lacerations by sharp objects found in the food that were not expected by the customer
  • Trouble breathing, swallowing, or consuming food

Eating a Foreign Object: What to Do in the Aftermath

If you have been injured by a foreign object in your food there are certain things you can do to help your lawsuit:

  • If possible, keep the object that actually caused you injury
  • Proof or witnesses that can verify that the food was prepared by the other party, such as a restaurant, caterer or manufacturer, and was not tampered with by anyone else
  • Medical and dental records that show the injury was not present before the incident
  • Photographic evidence of the product and conditions of the store/restaurant

Consulting an attorney is an appropriate measure when dealing with an issue of foreign objects in food, regardless of if you plan to file a lawsuit. If you have question about your foreign or hazardous objects in food case please call my office at 407-415-9626 or email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com.

Key Words: “Foreign Object,” “Food Personal Injury,” and “Personal Injury”

Navigating the Courts in Central Florida

Navigating the Courts in Central Florida

If you are charged with a crime, face a traffic violation, or should your case ultimately go to trial, it can be a harrowing experience to navigate your way to the court where your case will be heard. It is my aim to make this process as easy as possible for you. As such, consult with the general locations of these courts and their respective parking, traffic, and construction considerations.

Ninth Judicial Circuit : Orange and Osceola Counties

The Circuit Courts in Florida are the trial courts of general jurisdiction. The Circuit Criminal Courts have jurisdiction in all criminal felonies and appeals from the County Courts. The Ninth Circuit Criminal Division has thirteen (13) Circuit Judges in Orange County and two (2) Circuit Judges in Osceola County.

The courthouse parking garage is located on the north side of the complex. Entrances to the garage are off of Magnolia and Orange Avenues. Rates for parking are $2.00 per hour with a maximum of $15.00 for the day.

Please also bear in mind that items such as firearms, ammunition, alcohol, knives, and other similar items are banned from the court’s premises.
Osceola County Courthouse

Courthouse parking is located on the East side of the complex. Street level and garage parking are free.

Please also bear in mind that items such as firearms, ammunition, alcohol, knives, and other similar items are banned from the court’s premises.

Eighteenth Judicial Circuit : Seminole and Brevard Counties

Seminole County

For Seminole County there are three main courthouses for criminal, civil, and juvenile matters.

The criminal justice center for Seminole County is located at 101 Eslinger Way Sanford, FL 32773. Parkin is available for free on the sides and rear of the building.

For Civil matters, the courthouse is located at 301 N. Park Ave. Sanford, FL 32771. Parking is available for free at the front and sides of the courthouse.

Finally, for Juvenile matters the courthouse is located at 190 Eslinger Way Sanford, FL 32773. This courthouse is behind the Seminole County courthouse for criminal matters in the overarching Seminole County criminal justice complex. Parking is available for free directly in front of the building.

If you have any questions about your case or the Florida legal system please call my office at 407-415-9626 or email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com.

Key Words: “Florida Courts,” “Central Florida Courts,” and “Florida Court System”

Indecent Exposure and Exposure of Sexual Organs

Florida law regarding indecent exposure

Florida law regarding indecent exposure

Navigating the Definition, Penalties, and Defense Strategy if Faced with this Charge

Under Florida State law, the Exposure of Sexual Organs (otherwise known as Indecent Exposure) is an intentional and lewd exhibition of a person’s genitals within a public place or within public view. Exposure of this kind is considered a serious criminal offense and sees penalties that may include up to 1 year in jail and the creation of a permanent criminal record.

What is “Indecent Exposure?”

Under Section 800.03 of the Florida Statutes, it is unlawful “to expose or exhibit one’s sexual organs in public or on the private premises of another, or so near thereto as to be seen from such private premises, in a vulgar or indecent manner, or to be naked in public except in any place provided or set apart for that purpose.” It is important to note that this statute is aimed at both the public and private spheres of your interaction with others. Thus, the qualifications for this type of offense rest, primarily, with the actions, or lack of action, that you take in your relationship with others.

To prove that indecent exposure (or exposure of sexual organs) has been committed, the prosecution is required to establish the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

– The defendant exposed or exhibited their sexual organs or was naked

– The defendant did so in a public place, on the private premises of another, or so near the private premises of another as to be seen from those private premises

– The defendant intended the exposure or exhibition of their sexual organs to be in a vulgar, indecent, or lewd manner

– The exposure or exhibition or nakedness was in a vulgar, indecent, or lewd manner

The statute uses the terms “vulgar,” “indecent,” and “lewd” to mean the same thing. In other words, these all signify that an unlawful indulgence was committed in lust, or in a wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, sensual, or sexual manner on the part of the person charged with the act. It is a requirement that these acts, in order for them to be considered “vulgar,” “indecent,” or “lewd,” cause offense to one or more persons that view the acts in question. This consideration is thrown out, however, if it is found that the person’s act infringed upon the rights of another. To paraphrase John Stuart Mill: “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” In other words, when you are negatively impacting the rights of another, the considerations of your rights in this manner become null.

A “public place” is best defined as any place intended or designed to be frequented by the general public. For indecent exposure cases involving an act that occurs in a public place, there is no requirement that any person be offended by such act. However, showing that someone was directly offended is required for exposure cases involving an act occurring on private property outside the view of the general public.

What Penalties might I face for Indecent Exposure?

Under Florida State law, Indecent Exposure or Exposure of Sexual Organs is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor and has penalties of up to 1 year in jail or 12 months of probation and a $1,000 fine. There are also important social considerations at play in an Indecent Exposure case. Should you be convicted, you will be convicted of having engaged in lewd behavior. This can negatively impact your job prospects, ability to adopt children, custody agreements in a divorce, and general social interactions.

But What About Breastfeeding and Other Similar Cases of “Public Nudity?”

As noted previously, merely proving that someone was nude or that there was visibility of a person’s genitals are insufficient conditions of a conviction for Indecent Exposure and Exposure of Sexual Organs. In order for nudity to be prosecutable under Section 800.03 of the Florida Statutes, the exposure must be “lewd” or “vulgar” in nature. “Lewd” or “vulgar” requires that there was some type of maliciously sexual orientation to the act and with the intent.

Therefore if someone is found to be appearing nude on a public beach or in a public park, or urinating in public, this, by itself, does not warrant an Indecent Exposure or Exposure of Sexual Organs charge.

But what about breastfeeding? This is also insufficient for Indecent Exposure or Exposure of Sexual Organs. In fact, breastfeeding is actually a protected act by the Florida legislature, which defines it as “an important and basic act of nurture which must be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health and family values.” Therefore, regardless of posted signs, the directives of a proprietor for a location, and irrespective of public or private domain, you have the right to breastfeed your baby and not face an Indecent Exposure or Exposure of Sexual Organs charge.

Possible Defenses to Indecent Exposure and Exposure of Sexual Organs Charges

There are many defenses that are available to a defense attorney to contest a charge of indecent exposure under Florida State law. The prosecution will, most likely, attempt to extend the “vulgar” or “lewd” behavior to the case in order to meet the necessary conditions of Indecent Exposure and Exposure of Sexual Organs charges under section 800.03 of the Florida Statutes. Often times, these connections are flimsy at best and an attorney can proactively advocate on your behalf to discount these false narratives and flimsy connection. Remember: a conviction for Indecent Exposure or Exposure of Sexual Organs cannot be sustained unless the prosecution is able to establish that their was a sexually malicious, “lewd” or “vulgar” intent to the act.

If you have question about your Indecent Exposure or Exposure of Sexual Organs case please call my office at 407-415-9626 or email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com

Key Words: “Indecent Exposure” and “Exposure of Sexual Organs”

Domestic Violence Battery Allegations: What You Need to Know

Domestic Violence Battery Allegations: What You Need to Know

As a former prosecutor, one of the most devastating charges I have seen levied on individuals is Domestic Violence Battery. This charge is harshly prosecuted throughout the State of Florida.

Domestic Violence Battery is any unlawful touching of a person classified by statute as a family or household member. The offense is harshly prosecuted throughout the State of Florida, with penalties and long-term consequences for conviction that far exceed that of conventional battery.

Definition of Domestic Violence Battery

Under Florida law, Domestic Violence Battery is defined as “any actual and intentional touching or striking of another person without their consent” or the “intentional causing of bodily harm to another person when the person struck is a ‘family or household member.'”

Under section 741.28, Florida Statutes “family or household member” can include the following:

Domestic Violence in Florida

– wives and husbands

– ex-wives and ex-husbands

– individuals related by blood or marriage

– individuals living together as a family

– individuals who have resided together as if a family in the past

– persons who have a child in common (regardless of prior marriage)

The statute specifically requires that the family or household members must be currently residing together or have in the past resided together in the same dwelling. There exists only one exception to this when the issue involves persons who have a child in common.

Penalties for Domestic Violence Battery

Domestic Violence Battery is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, and includes penalties of up to one year in jail, twelve months probation, and/or a $1000 fine.

Due to the “domestic” nature of this crime, the accused will face additional mandatory penalties under Chapter 741, Florida Statutes, that otherwise would not be included for general battery.

These include:

– completion of a 26 week Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP)

– 12 months probation

– 5 days required jail (if the defendant is adjudicated guilty and

there is bodily injury- Section 741.283, Florida Statutes)

– additional community service hours

– loss of  civil liberties

– the imposition of an injunction or “no contact” order

Sealing or Expunging Domestic Charges

Under Florida State law, a person who commits an act of domestic violence battery or any other domestic-related crime of violence, as noted in section 741.28, Florida Statutes, is ineligible to have his or her record sealed or expunged, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld. Simply put, if you plead to any domestic violence battery charge, you will have a lifetime criminal record for that offense. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Defenses to Domestic Violence Battery

In Florida, domestic violence battery is one of the most prolific charges faced and most sought after to defend. A decision to plead should not be made without an attorney thoroughly reviewing your case and considering all of your legal options. Some of the most common

defenses to this charge include:

– factual disputes about the incident

– absence of injuries

Domestic Violence

– battery allegations not corroborated by other evidence

– vindictive victim

– self-defense

– defense of others

– defense of property

– “Stand your Ground”

– consensual confrontation or mutual combat

Criminal Defense Strategies

There are wide variety of strategies that I can utilize in order to address a domestic battery charge, many of which can aid in having a case dropped or reduced prior to trial. Some of the more common defense strategies include the following:

Attorney Representation

Hiring an attorney is of paramount importance in a Domestic Violence Battery case.The possibility that a charge will be dropped, amended, or diverted increases substantially with an attorney reviewing your case and representing you. The hiring of private counsel signals to the prosecutor that the defendant has the intent and utmost resolve to fight the case.

Moreover, by hiring an attorney, the defendant has at their disposal the knowledge and experience needed to successfully defend themselves against this charge.This greatly improves outcomes and can weaken the resolve of the prosecution to pursue the matter.

Early Negotiation

One of the key advantages of hiring an attorney is the ability to make early contact with the prosecution. The early presentation of factual defenses, legal issues, and mitigating circumstances can have a dramatic impact on the prosecutor’s decision of whether to move forward with a domestic battery charge. It communicates competence and resolve, and establishes a rapport that may be needed in any future negotiations and be beneficial to your case. My experience as a prosecutor has served me invaluably in this regard, because I am able to bring my experience on their side to yours.

Contacting the Alleged Victim

Domestic Battery charges are most effectively addressed at the earliest stages of the case, before even formal charges have been filed. Even when a “no contact” order has been imposed between individuals, an attorney can contact the alleged victim to see if they wish to pursue the charge further. An attorney can further present information to see if the charges can be dropped.

The State Attorney’s Office will, generally, require that the victim complete a drop-charge affidavit, complete a course, or meet with a Domestic Violence advocate in order to decline prosecution. The victim may also attempt direct contact with the prosecutor. In all cases, however, the decision to prosecute rests solely with the Office of the State Attorney. A victim’s input is often persuasive, but it is no way the sole determinant for the decision.

More Information on the “No Contact” Order

In Domestic Violence Battery cases where the alleged victim does no wish to pursue charges, the parties should seek to immediately modify any preexisting “No Contact Orders” that have been imposed by the court. This is accomplished through the filing of a Motion to Modify Conditions of Release.

The modifying or lifting of a “no contact order” not only enables the parties to resume contact and further coordinate their efforts to have the charges dropped, it sends an additional signal that the alleged victim is not cooperative and is against any further prosecution.

Seeking Help Voluntarily

In many cases it is appropriate for a defendant and/or victim to be proactive in their addressing of this issue and voluntarily enroll in counseling or other psychological or substance abuse services. Voluntary participation in such programs can show a level of responsibility by the parties and, perhaps, change prosecutor perceptions of a case and of the defendant. This can also increase the chance of a pretrial intervention.

Pretrial Motions

When a Domestic Violence Battery charge cannot be disposed of in the early stages of the case, pretrial motions can provide additional impetus for a drop or reduction in charges. Some common examples of this include “Stand your Ground” motions, motions in Limine, and

motions for court ruling.

“Stand your Ground” offers the accuse the potential for prosecutorial immunity while a motion in Limine and motion for court ruling can demonstrate to the prosecutor the factual and evidence vulnerabilities in their case This may further assist negotiations and deter continued litigation.

Trial Readiness

Domestic Violence Battery prosecutions will often result in trial. For this reason, both the defendant and the attorney must show resolve and trial-readiness for the duration of the case. In some cases, being ready, willing, and able to proceed to trial can itself lay a major role in having a charge dropped, reduced, or diverted. It is of vital importance to remain well-informed of your options and strategy, all of which an attorney can provide to you.
Domestic Violence Battery is a serious charge with potentially devastating consequences for those accused of it. It is necessary, given the numerous strategies, approaches, and pretrial options available to combat these charges, to contact an attorney and solicit their services for this issue. My years of experience, both on the prosecutorial side and defense side, have given me a comprehensive understanding of this charge. It is this experience that is the difference maker when it comes to defending you against Domestic Violence Battery charges.

If you have question about your domestic violence case please call my office at 407-415-9626 or email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com

Key Words: “Domestic Violence,” “Domestic Violence Battery,” and “Battery”