BULLET St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 15.48 Division IV Loitering

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Chapter 15.48


15.48.010 Prohibited.
15.48.020 Defense for conviction.
15.48.030 Penalty for violation.


Attempt to define as criminal "wandering the street" is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, regardless of whether ordinance is limited to class of persons who may be otherwise engaged in prohibited activity, City of St. Louis v. Burton, 478 S.W. 2d 320 (1972).

Evidence held insufficient to sustain conviction under loitering ordinance. City of St. Louis v. Burton, 478 S.W. 2d 320 (1972).


24571 Loitering, idling and congregating in streets

15.48.010 Prohibited.

No person shall loiter or prowl in a place, at a time or in a manner not usual for law abiding citizens, under circumstances that warrant a justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity, in any public way, street, highway, place, or alley and refuse to obey the lawful command of a police officer to move on or provide to said police officer a lawful reason for remaining on said public way, street, highway, place or alley if the alleged loitering by said person would create or cause to be created any of the following:

A. Danger of a breach of the peace;

B. The reasonable danger of a disturbance to the comfort and repose of any person acting lawfully on or in a public way, street, highway, place, or alley reserved for pedestrians;

C. The obstruction or attempted obstruction of the free normal flow of vehicular traffic or the normal passage of pedestrian traffic upon any public way, street, highway, place, or alley;

D. The obstruction, molestation or interference or attempt to obstruct, molest or interfere with any person lawfully on or in a public way, street, highway, place, or alley to fear for his or her safety.
(Ord. 61415 2, 1989; prior: Ord. 47396 1, 1955: 1948 C. Ch. 46 39: 1960 C. 765.010.)

15.48.020 Defense for conviction.

A. No person shall be convicted under this chapter if the police officer fails to comply with the procedure outlined herein. No person shall be convicted under this chapter if it appears at trial that the explanation given by the person is true and, if believed by the police would:

1. Have dispelled the fear for human safety;

2. Have dispelled the concern for safety of property;

3. Have dispelled the fear of a breach of the peace;

4. Have provided a justifiable reason for obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic, subject to the discretion of the court.

B. If a person takes flight upon appearance of a police officer who identifies himself as such, or refuses to identify himself or attempts to conceal himself, said police officer has probable cause to believe a violation of this chapter has occurred and is hereby duly authorized to make an arrest.
(Ord. 61415 3, 1989.)

15.48.030 Penalty for violation.

Any person, firm or corporation who violates the provisions of the section and is found guilty for said violation shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during which a violation occurs or continues.
(Ord. 61415 4, 1989.)

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