Disorderly conduct, sometimes referred to as disturbing the peace or a breach of the peace, is a criminal charge that individuals in Minnesota can face for a number of reasons. In general, disorderly conduct is considered to be behaviors that have a high potential of annoying others in the area or disrupting the peace and quiet within a community. Disorderly conduct is a public safety crime in this state. Those charged with disorderly conduct need to understand what this charge is and that a reputable Minnesota criminal defense attorney can help them achieve the best outcome possible.
Minnesota Laws Define Disorderly Conduct
As per Minnesota law, disorderly conduct charges can be pressed if an individual is:
● Disrupting a lawful meeting or gathering
● Exhibiting verbally offensive or obscene behaviors
● Engaging in an offensive, obscene or loud conduct that has a high potential to upset others or cause alarm
The behavior leading up to a charge for disorderly conduct can happen on public or private property. Allowing someone to exhibit this behavior on your property could also lead to criminal charges. An alleged perpetrator of disorderly conduct cannot be convicted of this charge unless the prosecutor proves that the individual should have known that their actions would upset, disrupt, or anger others or was likely to be met with a violent reaction. There are, however, a few caveats to this law. People suffering from an epileptic seizure or other similar neurological conditions during their conduct are immune to these types of charges. Furthermore, the punishment can be more severe if the defendant is a caregiver and the victim is a vulnerable adult.
In disorderly conduct charges, context is highly important. You cannot aggressively say something obscene or profane to another individual in a church or a public library. However, the same behavior might be acceptable in a bar or a club.
Types of Disorderly Conduct
Minnesota law defines some very specific types of disorderly conduct, such as rioting and unlawful assembly. This state defines a riot as three or more people gathering together to threaten with force, acts of violence, or property damage. If anyone involved in a riot is carrying a deadly weapon or if a death occurs because of the riot, the consequences of a conviction are more severe. To be convicted of disorderly conduct for rioting, the prosecutor must prove that a group of three or more people were:
● Using force to commit an unlawful act
● Disturbing or threatening the public peace with their acts, or
● Intending to act in a manner that disturbs or threatens the public peace
Although some states have laws making public intoxication, also known as drunken disorderly conduct, subject to a disorderly conduct charge, Minnesota does not.
Consequences for a Disorderly Conduct Conviction
If you are convicted of a disorderly conduct charge, the consequences can vary based on the actions you took and who was disturbed by your behavior. In general, a conviction of this type will come with jail sentences of up to 90 days and a fine as high as $1,000. If a caregiver faces charges for disorderly conduct against a vulnerable person, they can receive as much as 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.
There are also many collateral occupational and social consequences that come along with a disorderly conduct charge. It may impact your career and your reputation. Your credit status, results of future legal processes, ability to get a job in the future, or admittance to college could also be affected. Even a minor infraction that leads to a disorderly conduct charge can have long-lasting and profound effects.
Hire an Experienced Disorderly Conduct Attorney in Minneapolis
You cannot go back and change what you did in the past, but you can move forward with reliable legal representation that can mitigate past action’s consequences. If you were recently charged with disorderly conduct, reach out to a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you do so, the more time your attorney will have to gather evidence and prepare your defense. Your lawyer could help you get your charges dismissed or work out a plea bargain.
With over satisfied 10,000 clients in the past 30 years, Gerald Miller P.A. has a reputation for aggressively defending many types of DWI and criminal charges in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and throughout Minnesota. You can reach us 24 hours a day. Contact us online or call 612-440-4608 to schedule your case consultation. Our attorneys are waiting to speak with you.