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Chances of getting a first offense disorderly conduct citation dismissed?

Eau Claire, WI |

I don't want to include too much information in order to incriminate myself. So I am just wondering what are my chances are in getting my first disorderly conduct citation dismissed. I received it in the mail due to a complaint by someone. It is mostly a "she said he said" type of thing, since no police were on site. I have never done anything wrong in my life before, I am not an aggressive person, and do not have a criminal past. Thanks for your input.

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Attorney answers 1


From your reference to the charge as a "citation" rather than a criminal complaint, plus the fact that you received the citation in the mail and indicate there has been no contact with the Police, I am assuming the Disorderly Conduct charge pending is a Wisconsin Municipal Ordinance violation charge rather than a Criminal Charge. If so, and: You have an attorney appear in Municipal Court for you ready for trial; You are not subpoenaed by the Prosecutor to appear in person for trial (in Municipal cases, the Prosecutor can call you to the witness stand if you are present at trial); You have made no statements to any third persons that could be used as evidence against you at trial; The person whose complaint to authorities resulted in the issuance of the citation does not appear to testify at trial; and There are no other witnesses to the underlying incident; then the Prosecutor would be unable to proceed with the trial because he or she would have no means of presenting evidence with which to prove you violated the ordinance . In that event, the Prosecutor would either ask the Judge to dismiss the charge right then and there or ask for a continuance in order to issue witness subpoenas or followup to enforce previously issued witness subpoenas. If such a continuance were granted and, on the second scheduled trial date, the Prosecutor again wound up not being able to proceed for lack of witnesses, the charge would likely be dismissed, unless the Prosecutor remained motivated to prosecute and had a very persuasive argument that the Judge should grant a second continuance.

Obviously, to get an outright dismissal without a trial, a lot of things have to line up your way. It happens. However, I am not going to speculate on your specific chances because I don't know either the specifics of your case or local practice customs in your Municipal Court (which can vary widely from Court to Court). You should definitely consult with an experienced defense lawyer in your area regarding the specifics of your case. While this could cost you some money now, you might be avoiding adverse consequences which could follow you around digitally forever.

Best Wishes!