Four Minneapolis Disorderly Conduct Attorneys, One Powerful Law Firm
How Disorderly Conduct Attorneys in Minneapolis Help You?
Brawling or Fighting
Disturbing a Lawful Assembly
Caregiver Fighting/Brawling Enhancement
Most states have a general disturbing the peace, reckless conduct, or disorderly conduct statute. Section 609.72 of the Minnesota Statutes is actually more specific than some other similar laws in other states. Many defendants have argued the disorderly conduct law violates free speech. All these challenges have failed. Governments must respect free speech, but they can pass reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.
Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Additionally, many employers view disorderly conduct as a “troublemaker” offense. So, these convictions, perhaps more so than other misdemeanors, may create significant employment problems.
Since so much is at stake, Gerald Miller, P.A. aggressively defends these cases in court. We do more than reduce or eliminate the consequences of a criminal conviction. We also stand up for your rights, including your right to free speech.
Brawling and Fighting Defense
“Fighting” is very broadly defined. There is no physical or emotional injury requirement. That feature makes this section different from other disorderly conduct offenses which at least require an emotional injury. In fact, the fight need not even be physical. It could be verbal.
“Brawling” does not require active participation. Watching a fight and encouraging the conduct, or doing nothing to discourage it, could be considered brawling.
As qualified Minneapolis Disorderly Conduct lawyers, we understand that just Like other disorderly conduct charges, fighting and brawling usually requires a civilian witness. By the time police officers arrive, the fight is normally over. This additional requirement makes it difficult for prosecutors to obtain convictions.
Fighting Charges For Disturbing a Lawful Assembly
Mere presence does not disturb an assembly, no matter how the participants react. If a prominent Democrat attended the Republican National Convention and sat relatively quietly, disorderly conduct charges would probably not hold up in court, no matter how badly the Republicans resented the Democrat’s presence.
Instead, the law requires a disturbance. That act could be shouting down a speaker, chanting, or holding signs. However, these things might or might not constitute a disturbance, depending on the facts.
The lawful assembly requirement is more uncertain. If the group had a permit from a government body, the assembly is clearly legal. Ad hoc gatherings, like street demonstrations, might or might not be lawful. Speaking to a Minneapolis Disorderly Conduct lawyer will help you gain a better understanding.
Offensive Conduct Defense
The statute prohibits “offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.” That’s an awful lot of words, and an awfully vague definition. The different levels of profanity are a good example.
Common four-letter words in PG movies are technically obscene. This language legitimately offends many people. However, such language does not reasonably offend people. An exception might be shouting a four-letter word in church.
F-bombs and s-bombs are in a grey area. Occasional, incidental use probably does not satisfy the alarm, resentment, or anger requirement. Repeated use might do so, especially if the defendant used his/her outside voice.
If the defendant shouts such language at another person, this conduct almost certainly constitutes disorderly conduct. The charges only hold up in court if the other person appears and testifies that the defendant used such language and s/he was offended.
Caregiver Fighting/Brawling Enhancements
If a caregiver fights or brawls with a vulnerable adult, it can create a gross misdemeanor offense, and the maximum punishment is a year in jail and a $3,000 fine. This enhancement does not apply to obscene language or other disorderly conduct sections. Remember, even though it may seem like a Minneapolis Assault lawyer would be able to help you in such cases, it is best to speak to a proven Minneapolis Disorderly Conduct lawyer and request assistance.
A “caregiver” is someone who has responsibility for a family member. A “vulnerable adult” is someone who receives, or is qualified to receive, services from any inpatient facility, such as a nursing home or drug rehab facility.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor or, in some cases, a gross misdemeanor. However, a misdemeanor could mean up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine plus court costs. Disorderly conduct has substantial indirect consequences as well.
Basically, disorderly conduct is offensive physical or verbal conduct in a one-on-one or group setting. The statute criminalizes a number of behaviors when many people would not consider criminal.
Since disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor, a court appearance is almost always required. Occasionally, if the evidence is very weak, a Minneapolis defense lawyer can use that to dramatically impact the result of the case.
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