ORLANDO, Fla. - More protests and rallies continued on Wednesday across Florida demonstrating solidarity among those calling for a change in Cuba.
However, those expressing their First Amendment rights are being warned by legal experts to be wary of the state’s new Combating Public Disorder law.
"If you see other people engaging in activity that appears like it’s becoming violent or they are hurting property you need to leave," said legal expert Whitney Boan.
The law, which is also referred to as the anti-rioting" law, was passed in April is now in effect. If things at a protest turn violent or are about to become violent, law enforcement can step in with hefty consequences.
"It’s a third-degree felony even in the context of a protest if it elevates to violence or property damage," said Boan.
According to the Orlando Police Department, under the state statute, an arrest -- regardless of the charges – is a mandatory 30-days of jail time. Many police departments expressed to FOX 35 News that they are using their discretion on if and when to enforce.
"We decided we were going to continue business as usual," said Chief Orlando Rolon of Orlando Police.
That decision on display Tuesday night as a demonstration in solidarity with Cuban protesters spilled onto South Semoran Boulevard.
The act of inconveniencing others is punishable under state law but instead, Orlando Police used their discretion. They gave several warnings to those blocking the roadway to return to the sidewalk.
One person was arrested for breaking a city ordinance rather than the much harsher state statute but that doesn’t mean the department won’t enforce the statute in the future.
"We want to make sure that people can exercise their rights as long as they do it as law-abiding citizens," said Rolon.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates.