Disorderly Conduct in Florida – Social Media Influencer Arrested in Miami Beach

November 11, 2022 Criminal Defense

A social media influencer with over 9 million Instagram followers was arrested in Miami while on vacation. The internet star allegedly committed battery on a police officer, which is taken very seriously in Florida.

We will provide details on the case, along with information about Battery on a Police Officer and Disorderly Conduct charges in Florida.

What was the Incident?

Nikita “Dragun” Nguyen was arrested in Miami Beach after being accused of disorderly conduct at a hotel. According to the report, the New York based social media influencer had the police called on her around 6 pm at The Goodtime Hotel.

Hotel security reported to police that Nguyen “had been causing a disturbance for a long period of time and was walking around the pool area unclothed.” The hotel security attempted to tell Nguyen that she couldn’t act in that manner, and she then responded by throwing a water bottle at them.

Once police arrived at the hotel, they were sent to Nguyen’s room. Officers knocked on the door, which had loud music coming from behind it. Eventually, she opened the door after security threatened to kick her off the property.

According to police, Nguyen opened the door asking, “Do you want more?” The defendant then threw an open bottle at the security guard and the officer, which hit them with water.

Nguyen was arrested and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and a municipal ordinance violation of battery. Nguyen was given a $2,000 bond.

Disorderly Conduct Charges

Under Florida Statute section 877.03, disorderly conduct is defined as any act that is deemed sufficient to do any of the following:

  • Outrage the sense of public decency
  • Corrupt public morals
  • Affect the peace and quiet of other persons
  • Engage in fighting or brawls

A person who is accused of disorderly conduct in Florida can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. A second-degree misdemeanor has a penalty of up to a $500 fine, up to 60 days in jail, and up to 6 months of probation.

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct

The good news is that disorderly conduct is one of the more defendable offenses in the state. Although the statute is quite broad, it can be difficult to convict a person who was accused of disorderly conduct based on annoyance, use of profanity, or displaying a belligerent attitude.

If the accused individual had only engaged in verbal conduct, there is the possibility of using the First Amendment as a defense. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution limits the application of the state’s disorderly conduct law to using “fighting words” or words like shouting “fire” into a crowd.

“Fighting words” are defined as words that inflict injury or incite an immediate breach of peace after being spoken. Shouting words like “fire” refers to words that report a type of physical hazard in circumstances in which a report can create a present danger to others.

Florida courts have explained that a violation of the disorderly conduct statute requires more than the creation of a mere annoyance. A mere boisterous behavior that disrupts the operations of a business and draws the attention of onlookers is not by itself enough to sustain a disorderly conduct conviction.

The courts have found that a defendant who was inside a bank yelling and cursing at the bank employees and later at the police, did not support a conviction of disorderly conduct. This was because there was no evidence that the bank customers responded in any particular way or were incited to engage in an immediate breach of the peace. There must be some evidence that the crowd responded to the defendant’s words in some way that threatened to breach the peace.

Due to the varying characteristics of a disorderly conduct charge, it is usually difficult for the prosecution to convict the offender based solely on words. The best way to figure out what defenses work for your specific case is to contact a skilled Tallahassee criminal defense attorney in your area.

Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer

In Florida, it is considered a crime to put your hands on a Police officer. Florida Statute section 784.07 defines battery on an officer as when the following occurs:

  • The defendant intentionally touches or strikes an officer against their will and intentionally causes bodily harm;
  • The victim was an officer.
  • The defendant knew that the victim was an officer;
  • The officer was engaged in the lawful activities of their duties when the defendant allegedly committed the battery.

An “officer” is considered any of the following under Florida Statute section 784.07:

  • Police officer
  • Correctional officer
  • Traffic enforcement officer
  • Parking enforcement officer
  • Part-time police and correctional officers
  • Probation officer
  • Department of Corrections employees supervising inmates
  • Federal law enforcement officer
  • Wildlife and Fishing Conservation Commission officers
  • Firefighter
  • Emergency Medical Care Provider
  • Public Transport Employee
  • Community College Security

Any person who violates Florida law and commits battery on an officer can be charged with a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony has a penalty of up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

If the authorities determine that the violent action was considered aggravated battery, there are enhancements to the charge. Aggravated battery is considered a first-degree felony, which can result in up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.

Defenses to Battery Against an Officer

A person accused of battery against a police officer may feel as if there are no options for them. However, there are still defenses that can be used in a case involving the battery of an officer. The following is a list of potential defenses that can be used in a battery case:

  • Self-defense – Self-defense can be used as a defense so long as the incident did not involve an arrest scenario.
  • Officer not engaged in lawful duty – The officer in question must have been engaging in lawful, legal duty. If an officer conducts an unlawful detention, it could be used as a defense in a battery case.
  • Excessive force – If the officer uses excessive force during an interaction with the defendant, it can be used as a defense. However, it is important to note that an arrest should never be resisted with violence.
  • Incidental touching – A defendant who had unintended actions or bodily movements that were not calculated to make contact with the officer does not meet the elements of battery against an officer. One example is if the defendant’s movements were intended to repel physical violence from a third party and unintentionally touched the officer.
  • Lack of Knowledge – The defendant did not know or was not aware that the victim was an officer.

The best way to figure out what defense works best with your specific case is by working with a skilled defense attorney in your area.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or someone you know has been accused of a violent crime against a police officer, it is imperative to seek out legal help. A conviction of Battery against a police officer comes with harsh penalties that can affect your future.

Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience working with clients across the state of Florida. We vow to stand in your corner and fight for your freedom. Contact us today for a free consultation at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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