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.
For complete details about Mr. Petruzzi's background, expertise, and
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.