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The Florida Senate

SB 184 — Impeding, Threatening, or Harassing First Responders

by Senators Avila and Hooper

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Criminal Justice Committee (CJ)

The bill provides that it is a second degree misdemeanor for any person, after receiving a verbal warning not to approach from a person he or she knows or reasonably should know is a first responder, who is engaged in the lawful performance of a legal duty, to violate such warning and approach or remain within 25 feet of the first responder, with the intent to:

  • Impede or interfere with the first responder’s ability to perform such duty;
  • Threaten the first responder with physical harm; or
  • Harass the first responder.

The bill defines “first responder” as a law enforcement officer, correctional probation officer, firefighter, or an emergency medical care provider. The bill defines “harass” to mean to willfully engage in a course of conduct directed at a first responder which intentionally causes substantial emotional distress in that first responder and serves no legitimate purpose.

If approved by the Governor, or allowed to become law without the Governor’s signature, these provisions take effect January 1, 2025.

Vote: Senate 39-1; House 85-27