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How to Get a Disorderly Conduct Charge Dismissed in Minnesota

There are a number of situations that could result in an arrest for disorderly conduct in Minnesota. At times, these cases stem from mere misunderstandings. Even when there is little doubt that the state has enough evidence for a conviction, it could be possible to secure a favorable outcome. The best possible outcome is a dismissal of all charges.

Having your charges dismissed might be possible, but this outcome rarely comes easy. Prosecutors will usually push plea bargains that involve a conviction and potential jail time. Having those charges dismissed is the best possible outcome for you. A disorderly conduct lawyer from our firm could help you secure the outcome you deserve.

Disorderly conduct has a reputation of being a minor criminal charge, but a conviction could still negatively impact your life. With the help out our firm, you could avoid a conviction and the harsh consequences that come with it. Reach out to the attorneys of Gerald Miller as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.

Dismissal is Out of Your Hands

It is possible to see the disorderly conduct charges against you dismissed. However, the decision to dismiss those charges is completely out of your hands. You may not be able to unilaterally bring an end to the criminal case against you, but other parties can. Your attorney could help you make the case for dismissal to those with the power to do something about it.


The prosecutor handling your case ultimately has the right to dismiss the charges against you. While the police likely initiated your criminal case with your arrest, the prosecutor will ultimately decide if the case goes forward or not. They also have the power to dismiss your case at any point—even during trial.


Outside of the prosecution, the only other party with the power to dismiss a disorderly conduct charge in Minnesota is the judge. While the court will not typically dismiss these cases on their own, they will hear motions to dismiss from defense counsel.


The reality is that there is no way for you to force the disorderly conduct charge against you to be dismissed. Despite this fact, it could be possible for your attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor or make the case to a judge that dismissal is the appropriate outcome. The attorneys of Gerald Miller know what it takes to beat these charges, and we look forward to working on your defense. Reach out right away for a free consultation.


Dismissed Charges are Never Guaranteed

The prosecutor has the power to dismiss your disorderly conduct charges in Minnesota. Having the power and having the desire are two different things, however. Most prosecutors will offer a plea bargain and opt to go to trial if you do not accept.

Thankfully, your attorney could make the case to the prosecutor that your disorderly conduct charges are unlikely to be successful at trial. This could be because of the lack of evidence, or because your attorney has potential grounds for excluding evidence from trial.

Your options for a dismissal are not lost even if the prosecution does not agree. This is because the court still has the power to dismiss your case. Your attorney could petition the court to dismiss the charges against. A judge will not grant this motion on a whim, but there could be legal reasons why the case cannot or should not go forward. A strong defense strategy could help secure this outcome.

You Need a Strong Defense

In order for you to get the charges against you dismissed, you will need a strong defense strategy. What makes a good defense strategy in a disorderly conduct case? Thankfully, there are several to choose from. In fact, the statute itself sets out a specific situation where a charge of disorderly conduct is not appropriate—even if the elements of the crime have otherwise been met.

Building a winning defense strategy starts with understanding what constitutes disorderly conduct under the law. This offense is governed by Minnesota Statute Section 609.72. The statute explains that an act of disorderly conduct can occur in any public or private place, so long as the accused knew or should have know their actions would anger, alarm, or disturb others. The statute also sets out these specific actions as examples of disorderly conduct:

(1) engages in brawling or fighting; or

(2) disturbs an assembly or meeting, not unlawful in its character; or

(3) engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.

When developing a defense strategy, it is important to consider the specifics of the statute. The language of the law provides some clues for beating these charges. Some potential defenses include:

Epileptic Seizure

A defense strategy that is unique to disorderly conduct cases involves epileptic seizures. When a person has a seizure, they are no longer in control of the movements of their body. This can result in causing a disturbance or appear to be offensive behavior. Thankfully, the statute carves out a defense specific to this scenario. According to the statute, a person does not commit disorderly conduct if their actions were caused by a seizure.


Many arrests in Minnesota for disorderly conduct stem from some type of fight, brawl, or physical altercation. Often, the police will arrest everyone involved in an incident no matter how it actually played out. In this type of case, a claim of self-defense could be a strong option.

You have the right to defend yourself from imminent physical harm. If you committed an act that would have otherwise been considered disorderly conduct to defend yourself, it could serve as a viable defense at trial.

Defense of Others

Just like you have the right to defend yourself, you also have the right to defend others from harm. This often occurs when a loved one is facing an imminent threat of harm. However, you have the right to defend anyone who is facing the threat of harm from an assault or similar altercation. This defense works just like a claim of self-defense.

Lack of Evidence

When the state brings a case for disorderly conduct, they have the obligation to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. While there are often affirmative defense strategies that make sense in these cases, you do not have to prove that you are innocent to be acquitted of these charges. An attorney from our firm could highlight the lack of evidence against you.

Other Ways to Get a Favorable Outcome

A dismissal might be the best outcome in your case, but it is not the only favorable way to resolve a disorderly conduct case. Some of the other ways an attorney could help you resolve your case include:

Plea Bargain

In some situations, a conviction for disorderly conduct is likely. If the evidence against you is strong, your best-case scenario might be to limit the extent of the penalties you face. A plea bargain could help you avoid jail or even a conviction. In some situations, it could be possible to work out a deal that ends with the dismissal of your charges if you meet certain conditions.

Acquittal at Trial

While dismissal is the optimal outcome for anyone charged with disorderly conduct, it is not the only way to avoid a conviction. With the help of your attorney, you could avoid a conviction by winning at trial. If you are acquitted of the charge of disorderly conduct, you will not face any of the penalties associated with this offense.

There are benefits to taking your case to trial. If the prosecutor dismisses the charges against you, they often have the power to bring a case again in the future. Once you are acquitted at trial, you can never be charged again for this offense.

Talk to Gerald Miller About Your Disorderly Conduct Case

If you have been arrested for disorderly conduct in Minnesota, now is the time to speak to an attorney. Our team is ready to help you fight back against these charges and potentially have them dismissed. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with the attorneys of Gerald Miller.

Related Content: How to Beat a Disorderly Conduct Charge in Minnesota

About the author

Gerald Miller

Gerald Miller is a top-notch and experienced DWI/DUI lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. in Minneapolis, MN. He has more than 35 years of experience in Criminal Defense practice. He has also been a mentor to numerous DUI/DWI defense attorneys.

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