Loitering or Prowling

A person commits the crime of Loitering or Prowling when the defendant loitered or prowled in a place, at a time, or in a manner not usual for law-abiding individuals and such loitering and prowling was under circumstances that warranted justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for safety of persons or property in the vicinity.

Circumstances:

Among the circumstances which may be considered in determining whether such alarm or immediate concern is warranted is the fact that the person: 

  1. Takes flight upon appearance of a law enforcement officer. 
  1. Refuses to identify himself/herself. 
  1. Manifestly endeavors to conceal himself/herself or any object. 

Unless flight by the person or other circumstances makes it impracticable, a law enforcement officer shall afford the person an opportunity to dispel any alarm or immediate concern which would otherwise be warranted by requesting him/her to identify himself/herself and explain his/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. 

Punishment:

Any person convicted of Loitering or Prowling is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

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