What is Disorderly Conduct?
In Minnesota, it is illegal to knowingly provoke an assault or breach the peace in public. This offense is known as disorderly conduct. This law is available here. The statute includes three subdivisions that define disorderly conduct:
Three Subdivisions of Disorderly Conduct
1. Engaging in brawling or fighting;
2. Disturbing an assembly or meeting not unlawful in its character; and
3. Engaging 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.
Proving Disorderly Conduct
According to Minnesota Statute 609.72, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, in a public or private place, provokes an assault or breaches the peace by committing any of the three acts outlined above. Disorderly conduct seems like a “catch all” statute that incorporates a variety of behavior. It is important to note that the statute specifically uses the term “knowingly.” This means the State must prove you in some way intended to provoke an assault or breach the peace. The maximum possible sentence for a disorderly conduct conviction is ninety (90) days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.
Disorderly conduct describes behavior and actions seen almost every day. That is why it is important to hire an aggressive Minnesota criminal lawyer to fight a disorderly conduct charge the State cannot prove. Aside from the State’s inability to prove you “knowingly” provoked an assault or breached the peace, one effective defense your attorney can assert is self-defense. You cannot be criminally liable for disorderly conduct if you acted to protect yourself or another innocent person. Without a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer, you could face days or months behind bars. When you’re charged with disorderly conduct, don’t take a risk with your defense. Hire the right defense attorney who understands the system and isn’t afraid to fight for your rights.