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How to Beat a Disorderly Conduct Charge in Minneapolis

Like with every criminal charge, disorderly conduct is defensible. Under the right circumstances, an aggressive defense could result in the dismissal of the charges against you or victory at trial. 

Obtaining a favorable outcome in your disorderly conduct case requires effort. It requires a thorough investigation and a deep understanding of the law. Given what it takes to prevail at trial, you should never approach your defense without the guidance of skilled legal counsel. 

The experienced Minneapolis attorneys at Gerald Miller know how to face down the prosecution and win a disorderly conduct trial. We are prepared to use our skills and experience to help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible in your case. Below, consider just a few of the defense strategies we may rely on against a charge of disorderly conduct. Call right away to learn more. 

Free Speech

There are two general ways the prosecution can approach a disorderly conduct case. One is to establish that you have said or done something that is likely to alarm or instigate violence. The other is to take part in a fight or brawl. While a claim of protection under the first amendment is not useful for allegations of fighting, they are often the strongest possible defense related to conducting that disrupts the public. 

There is a fine line between conduct that violates the law and speech that is protected under the First Amendment. If your language did not include “fighting words” that had the potential to instigate violence, your conduct might be protected under the Constitution. Your Minneapolis lawyer can advise you on whether your rights were violated by your arrest. 


Alternatively, disorderly conduct cases involving allegations of fighting could lead to a viable claim for self-defense. Just like with assault cases or other charges that involve allegations of violence, a disorderly conduct arrest is improper if you were merely defending yourself. You have the right to protect yourself from imminent harm, and doing so does not rise to the level of disorderly conduct under the law. You could also base a defense around protecting others from the threat of imminent physical harm. 

Reasonable Doubt

Sometimes, the best defense is to simply point out the state failed to make its case. Ultimately it is the prosecutor—not you—that has the burden of proving their case. If they lack the evidence necessary to satisfy the statute, you deserve to be acquitted. 

This is frequently a strong defense in disorderly conduct cases. Often, police use this charge as a “catch-all” offense in an effort to arrest people protesting or otherwise disrupting the public. These officers do not always consider the standard necessary to obtain a conviction at the time of the arrest. Instead, they are content to bring the disruption to an end. 

Another factor that makes this defense particularly useful in some disorderly conduct cases is that many of these arrests are done en masse. During a large gathering, protest, or fight, it is not uncommon for the police to arrest dozens of people on disorderly conduct charges at once. That might simplify the job of the police at the time, but this approach often leaves virtually no evidence of wrongdoing for the prosecutors to work with. In these situations, the police often do not specifically remember any detail of your individual arrest. Your Minneapolis attorney could leverage this into a strong defense. 

Medical Defenses

One defense that is specific to the charge of disorderly conduct in Minnesota involves involuntary actions resulting from medical conditions. The statute specifically spells out that anyone suffering an epileptic seizure may not face arrest for disorderly conduct due to their uncontrollable sounds or actions. In fact, any medical condition that results into uncontrollable or involuntary movements qualifies as a complete defense to a disorderly conduct charge. 

Contact Gerald Miller About Your Disorderly Conduct Case

There are many valid approaches to defending a disorderly conduct charge, but not all of them will work in your case. It is imperative that you work closely with legal counsel in Minneapolis to identify the best defense option for your situation. The lawyers of Gerald Miller have extensive experience building the strongest defense possible for their clients. To learn how call (612) 440-4608 today to schedule your free consultation

About the author

Kyle Dreger

Kyle Dreger is a skilled DUI/DWI and Criminal Defense lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. Kyle has received his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He is also a professionally trained basketball player.

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