Sometimes those people charged with disorderly conduct didn’t even know they were breaking the law. While all laws are open to the interpretation of police, prosecutors, and ultimately a judge, disorderly conduct laws are some of the most broadly interpreted.
Some people have the misconception that a Minnesota disorderly conduct charge is minor. They don’t think it’s a big deal at all. And while it may be less serious than violent offenses or felonies, it is a crime and it does have the potential to cause lasting changes in your life.
Under Minnesota disorderly conduct laws, a disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense, one that carries a potential sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Ninety days in jail doesn’t seem so bad when you compare it to several years in a state prison. But it’s quite humbling when you compare it to staying at home.
You could be charged with disorderly conduct if it’s believed you acted with knowledge that your actions would alarm, disturb, anger, provoke violence, or breach the peace and you:
- Disturbed a lawful meeting or assembly,
- Fought someone, or
- Used obscene, offensive, abusive, or noisy actions or words to alarm or anger others.
Ref: Minnesota Statute §609.72
It’s important to note that not all disorderly conduct cases result in a conviction. Sometimes the charges are dropped altogether. It’s the job of your criminal defense lawyer to get you the best results possible in court. This could mean challenging the evidence against you and moving to have it disallowed in court. It could also mean negotiating a favorable plea agreement with the prosecution, ensuring you avoid jail time.
Each case is unique and requires individualized attention. A permanent criminal record can haunt you when you look for work and even when you try to find a place to live. Minimizing the long term impact of these charges is something that your attorney can assist you with.
You may have been partying with friends or got into a disagreement with a stranger. Whatever the situation, a local criminal defense lawyer can be your advocate in the courts. If you are facing a disorderly conduct charge, contact us for a consultation with a Minnesota defense lawyer.