Loitering and Prowling

Loitering and Prowling statutes give law enforcement officers broad discretion to enforce these offenses.  Remaining in one place for an unusual amount of time compared to a "law-abiding individual," along with circumstances that would give rise to a reasonable alarm or concern for persons or property, such as running from law enforcement, can be the base for a Loitering and Prowling accusation.  Florida law includes heavy fines and severe criminal penalties, including potential mandatory/minimum sentences of up to 25 years and maximum potential sentences of up to LIFE.  Mr.  Petruzzi has represented numerous individuals charged with, or under investigation for, Loitering and Prowling offenses by State authorities.  His experience and knowledge serves as an invaluable asset to his clients.

To arrange for a free and confidential consultation with respect to any State Loitering and Prowling offense, contact our office at (305)-770-6550.

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Florida Loitering and Prowling offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various State and Local law enforcement agencies.  Some common Florida Statutes criminalizing Loitering and Prowling include:

856.021 Loitering or prowling; penalty.—

(1) It is unlawful for any person to loiter or prowl in a place, at a time or in a manner not usual for law-abiding individuals, under circumstances that warrant a justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity.

(2) Among the circumstances which may be considered in determining whether such alarm or immediate concern is warranted is the fact that the person takes flight upon appearance of a law enforcement officer, refuses to identify himself or herself, or manifestly endeavors to conceal himself or herself or any object.  Unless flight by the person or other circumstance makes it impracticable, a law enforcement officer shall, prior to any arrest for an offense under this section, afford the person an opportunity to dispel any alarm or immediate concern which would otherwise be warranted by requesting the person to identify himself or herself and explain his or her presence and conduct.  No person shall be convicted of an offense under this section if the law enforcement officer did not comply with this procedure or if it appears at trial that the explanation given by the person is true and, if believed by the officer at the time, would have dispelled the alarm or immediate concern.

(3) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

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