The U.S. legal system has two basic levels: federal law and state law. A federal law applies to the entire nation, but state laws are only in effect within that particular state. Often, state laws and their punishments vary.
In early February, Actor Jussie Smollett turned himself in for felony disorderly conduct for allegedly making a false police report. In Illinois, the state where he was charged, filing a false police report is classified as disorderly conduct and considered a Class 4 felony, the lowest felony classification. If he is found guilty he faces up to three years in jail and/or probation.
However, since this falls into the category of state laws, Florida's take on disorderly conduct and filing a false police report is a bit different.
In the sunshine state, disorderly conduct and filing a false police report are classified as second degree misdemeanors. Second degree misdemeanors carry a penalty of a maximum 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
- Read Florida’s definition of filing a false police report, as defined in §316.067.
- Read Florida’s definition of disorderly conduct (also called breach of the peace), as defined in §877.03.
- Read about Florida’s criminal penalties, as defined in §775.082 – see §775.082(2) for second degree misdemeanors penalties.
- Read about Florida’s criminal fines, as defined by §775.083 – see §775.083(1) for second degree misdemeanor fines.
However, it's important to remember that there are circumstances in every case that can impact the fines and penalties imposed. If Smollett had committed his alleged crimes in Florida he may be facing different sentences, but there is no telling just how different.