If a prosecutor has charged you with disorderly conduct, you might be quite concerned. There are likely many questions running through your head. What penalties could you face if you are convicted? What effects will a felony on your criminal record have on the rest of your life? Can the charges be successfully beaten in court? Hiring a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after you have been charged will alleviate some of your worries. Your attorney can explain to you that a disorderly conduct charge in Minnesota is a misdemeanor and not a felony. They can also give you details about what potential defenses could be employed against your charges, and what legal consequences you might face if you are convicted.
What is Disorderly Conduct in Minnesota?
Disorderly conduct charges can stem from actions in nearly any location, including both private and public places, and even school buses. An individual can be charged with disorderly conduct for several different types of behaviors:
● Using obscene, offensive, or abusive gestures or language
● Participating in noisy, obscene, offensive, abusive, or boisterous conduct
● Fighting or brawling
● Unlawfully disturbing a meeting or assembly
To be considered disorderly conduct, the behavior must reasonably cause others in the vicinity to become resentful, angry, or alarmed. The person committing the disorderly conduct must be aware that their actions could upset or endanger others nearby, incite assault, or cause a breach of peace.
Examples of Disorderly Conduct
Disorderly conduct is a broad charge that can apply to both serious behaviors like assault, or seemingly harmless conduct like arguing in your front yard with your spouse. Examples of behavior that could lead to a charge of disorderly conduct include:
● Domestic assault
● Bar fights
● Behavior that compromises public safety
● Being too noisy at a house party
● Exhibiting reckless behavior in a crowded area
Exceptions to Disorderly Conduct Charges in Minnesota
If disorderly behavior is due to an epileptic seizure or some other similar neurological event, no charges will be filed. All you would need to do is that you have a medical condition. Additionally, public intoxication alone is not a crime in this state. If public intoxication leads to disorderly conduct, the individual can be charged with disorderly conduct but not public intoxication.
Disorderly Conduct: Misdemeanor or Felony?
According to Minnesota law, disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor and not a felony, meaning the consequences are not as harsh. For a misdemeanor conviction, you could face up to 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. It is important to talk with your Minneapolis criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to find out what kinds of defense strategies might prove successful against your charges.
If you do not have a criminal history, a conviction of disorderly conduct might only require you to pay a fine of between $200 and $500, and not serve any jail time. You might also be ordered to complete community service. Most disorderly conduct convictions require probation. Under a probation sentence of one to two years, the offender must be a law-abiding citizen and not commit any offenses of a similar type.
Disorderly conduct charges that are related to drug or alcohol use may require random urinalysis tests or restrict the offender from using any alcohol or drugs during the probationary period. If any of the probation orders are violated, the convicted offender could be required to serve the jail time that had been suspended under their probation sentence.
It is crucial to note that caregivers convicted of this charge will face stricter penalties. If a caregiver commits disorderly conduct and a vulnerable adult is a victim, the caregiver can be convicted of a gross misdemeanor. Upon conviction, they could be incarcerated for up to 1 year, pay a fine of up to $3,000, or both.
Questions about Your Charges? Meet with a Minnesota Disorderly Conduct Lawyer Today
If you face disorderly conduct or similar criminal charges in Minnesota, it is imperative to reach out to a criminal defense attorney. Having an experienced Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer evaluate the evidence and conditions of your case enhances your ability to successfully defend yourself against these charges, possibly lessening the charges or having them dismissed altogether.
At Gerald Miller P.A., your legal needs are our priority. Our staff can be reached 24 hours a day. Start your disorderly conduct representation with a free consultation. Contact us online or call 612-440-4608 today. We have more than three decades of experience representing clients just like you.