Florida Senate - 2024                                     SB 184
       By Senator Avila
       39-00061A-24                                           2024184__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to impeding, threatening, or harassing
    3         first responders; creating s. 843.31, F.S.; defining
    4         the terms “first responder” and “harass”; prohibiting
    5         a person, after receiving a warning not to approach
    6         from a first responder who is engaged in the lawful
    7         performance of a legal duty, from violating such
    8         warning and approaching or remaining within a
    9         specified distance of the first responder with
   10         specified intent; providing criminal penalties;
   11         providing an effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Section 843.31, Florida Statutes, is created to
   16  read:
   17         843.31Approaching a first responder after a warning with
   18  intent to impede, threaten, or harass.—
   19         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   20         (a) “First responder” includes a law enforcement officer as
   21  defined in s. 943.10(1), a correctional probation officer as
   22  defined in s. 943.10(3), a firefighter as defined in s. 784.07,
   23  and an emergency medical care provider as defined in s. 784.07.
   24         (b) “Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct
   25  directed at a first responder which causes substantial emotional
   26  distress in that first responder.
   27         (2)(a) It is unlawful for a person, after receiving a
   28  warning not to approach from a first responder who is engaged in
   29  the lawful performance of a legal duty, to violate such warning
   30  and approach or remain within 14 feet of the first responder
   31  with the intent to:
   32         1. Interrupt, disrupt, hinder, impede, or interfere with
   33  the first responder’s ability to perform such duty;
   34         2. Threaten the first responder with physical harm; or
   35         3. Harass the first responder by interfering with the first
   36  responder performing such duty.
   37         (b)A person who violates this subsection commits a
   38  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
   39  775.082 or s. 775.083.
   40         Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2024.