In 2017, the Birmingham police department offered free ‘No Loitering’ signs to local businesses to prevent crime. The signs state that a person who is caught violating loitering ordinances could be arrested and possibly fined and/or incarcerated. Although the penalties are clearly stated, the offense itself is not.
What Is Loitering?
In general, ‘loitering’ means to remain or wander around a public area without a specific purpose. However, just standing around isn’t illegal; otherwise, a person could be charged for being outside of a building, waiting for their friend to pick them up. What makes loitering unlawful is the person’s reason for being in the area.
How Is Loitering Defined in Alabama?
In Alabama, it is illegal to stand or linger around a public area with the intent to:
- Engage in, or ask to engage in, prostitution or sexual intercourse
- Possess or use drugs with one or more people
A person can also be charged with loitering if they remain in an area, such as a school or university, where they have previously been asked to leave by a security guard or other official. Additionally, under Alabama law, it is illegal to stay in a public bus or train station, or other public transportation building, to transact business, such as selling merchandise. Also, wearing a mask while gathering in a public place violates loitering laws, unless the masked person is going to, or coming from, a party or participating in a parade or educational event.
Under Alabama law, loitering is punishable by a fine of $200 and/or up to 30 days in jail.
Contact Tidwell Law Group, LLC for a Free Consultation
If you were accused of loitering or other types of property crimes, we are prepared to fight for your best interests and protect your rights. Our lawyer has 17 years of experience and has succeeded in getting charges reduced or dropped. We will use our skill and extensive knowledge of the law to build a strong legal strategy for you to seek a favorable outcome.
For aggressive legal defense, call us at (205) 800-8596 or contact us online.