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Disorderly Conduct Charges Water Street office (Milwaukee's lower east side)

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A disorderly conduct charge in Milwaukee can be charged as a Class B misdemeanor or a non-criminal civil forfeiture violation. A Class B misdemeanor carries a potential maximum jail sentence of up to 90 days, a fine of up to $1,000, or both jail and a fine.  A civil forfeiture violation can be punished with a fine.  Although there is no potential for jail time, a civil forfeiture disorderly conduct citation can still have a significant impact on your life.

Disorderly conduct lawyer in Milwaukee WI

Disorderly conduct Milwaukee

Disorderly conduct can be charged when it is alleged that the defendant has acted in a manner that is violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, or otherwise disorderly, and that behavior could have caused or provoked a disturbance under the circumstances. Disorderly conduct is a very broad statute and can be charged for a lot of different reasons. Additionally, disorderly conduct can be charged even if there is no “victim” in the case.  For example, if you are in a store yelling obscenities, you can be charged with disorderly conduct even if you are not yelling at anyone in particular because your actions may lead to verbal retaliation.  It may provoke a disturbance.

Prosecutors have discretion to determine whether a disorderly conduct case is charged as a civil forfeiture violation or a criminal charge.  The circumstances of your case, your prior record, and your cooperation with police are all factors the prosecutor will consider when deciding whether to charge your case as a forfeiture or a criminal charge.

Disorderly conduct can also be charged with a domestic abuse enhancer or modifier.  This happens with the parties involved have a domestic relationship.  A domestic relationship exists between an adult and their roommates, family, spouse, or a person with whom they share a child in common.  Often disorderly conduct charges with a domestic abuse enhancer arise out of an argument that other people overhear.  For example, if you and your roommate get in a yelling match over paying the rent and your neighbor overhears, you could face disorderly conduct domestic abuse charges.

How long does disorderly conduct stay on my record?

In Wisconsin, a conviction for disorderly conduct will remain on your record permanently. Under current law, all criminal charges remain on your record unless a court grants you expunction or you obtain a Governor's pardon. Even if a court grants you expunction, the conviction is not removed from your record. Expunction makes the record of the conviction invisible to the public. This means it removes the conviction from CCAP. However, the arrest and conviction will remain on your criminal background check and will still be visible to certain agencies following the appropriate searches.  

Disorderly conduct is a broad statute that can mean many things, so you may find yourself having to explain the circumstances of your disorderly conduct for the rest of your life.  A job you apply for 10 years after your conviction may require you to explain that silly argument you had with your brother over who was hosting Thanksgiving that year.  

 

How to beat a disorderly conduct charge

A Milwaukee disorderly conduct charge can be difficult to prove. Often, the police must rely solely on the information and allegations made by one party to determine what occurred. Because disorderly conduct is charged based largely on words, it can be difficult to prove what did or did not happen. If you are charged with disorderly conduct, you will want to retain an attorney with experience and knowledge to help defend against the charges. Evaluating the evidence, questioning witnesses, and negotiating with the prosecutor can all lead to charges being reduced or dismissed.

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Tom Grieve, the firm's managing attorney and founder, is a former state prosecutor and is not the only ex-prosecutor at the firm. We love hiring attorneys from both sides of the wall to bring as many perspectives to fight your case as aggressively as possible. The State of Wisconsin likes it when you choose the run-of-the-mill fee to plea™ lawyers who don't even know how to analyze and defend cases instead of experienced criminal attorneys:

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