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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30161
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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This is my first offense. A bad storm rolled through my area,

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This is my first offense. A bad storm rolled through my area, pulling my boat off of shore, then filling the boat with water to the top. The boat was slammed into the rocks and it got a few holes in it. It wound up sunk near my shoreline. I was very upset about this. A few days prior to this event, I had gone through a few rounds of the police being called by my drunk boyfriend, who has since quit drinking. I rarely drink, and if I do, I never get drunk, and never drink more than 1 or 2 drinks. My sister and mother are alcoholics, so I have always had a distaste for drinking. I wouldn't let him in the house, because he was destroying things. When the boat sunk, I went out to one of my docks on my property. My boyfriend followed me, but I just wanted to be alone to cry. So, I jumped in the lake, which is only about 4 feet. He kept following me, so I started swimming away from shore. The water, and the swim, felt so good that I just kept swimming across the lake. I got out on the other side, which is not a long ways as our lake is smaller. I was walking back to my house, when the police showed up, and put me in their car. I told them I did not want to get in, as I had done nothing wrong. They insisted and handcuffed me, pushing me into the car, hitting my head on a bar. I got a huge lump on my head from this. He took me back to my place, but did not release me. My boyfriend had thought that I had drowned, since he could not see me after going back to the house to get his phone, then returning to the lakeside. I had already gotten out of the water. The police were insisting that I take a breathalyzer, and I refused. I had only drank two shots of Grand Marnier, but had no idea how it would test with me swimming and also did not see what I had done to justify this. The point they took me away, I had said to them, you guys are just like the f**king NSA. That's the only bad thing I said to them. Because I refused to take the test, they threw me in detox overnight. After this, I received the ticket in detox of the misdemeanor charge, and a few weeks later, a court date for appearance arrived in the mail. What should I do? My court date is Tuesday. The website says I will be appointed a public defender. I am a laid off IT Project Manager, so I do not have the money to hire an attorney.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

What state are you? Is the charge for disorderly conduct?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is a misdemeanor, not a petty nor grand. This is in the state of Minnesota.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Disorderly Conduct-Offensive/Abusive/Noisy/Obscene

Thank you.

Minn. Stat., Section 340A.902 states that drunkenness is not a crime. If the basis for the charge is that you were drunk, you can move to have the charges dismissed entirely. Disorderly conduct occurs when someone "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". Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor.

A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days of imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. If they intend to seek imprisonment, the judge will appoint a lawyer for you at no charge. However, that's very unlikely. The D.A. will more likely ask that you pay a fine. If you're willing to plead guilty, you could ask the DA if you could instead do community service or make payments. You would be on probation until the fine was paid in full. You likely would not need an attorney - in most of these cases, the lawyer costs more than the fine the DA is asking you to pay.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I would like to have this charge reduced, if possible, to a petty misdemeanor, as I am an IT Project Manager looking for a job. A regular misdemeanor will show up on my record, and a petty one will not, from what I understand. Background checks are always done for people in my line of work, so continued employment depends upon having this charge reduced.

There isn't anything in the disorderly conduct statute that would allow a disorderly conduct charge to be reduced to a petty misdemeanor. You could try to negotiate a deal with the DA where, if you pay a fine and complete an alcohol treatment program, they dismiss the charge entirely. A lawyer might be able to help with those negotiations.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I just contacted the prosecuting attorney, and we discussed possibly having the charge reduced. For the future, you may advise people to take this route. We will be meeting on the court date to discuss reducing the charge, given the situation.