One minute you’re having a good time, the next minute you’re being cited for being a public nuisance. The public nuisance law in Minnesota is a little open to interpretation, but in general, if you are causing problems for other people, you can be cited for public nuisance.
According to Minnesota statute 609.74, anyone who does any of the following actions is considered guilty of creating a public nuisance:
- Maintains or permits a condition which unreasonably annoys, injures or endangers the safety, health, morals, comfort, or repose of any considerable number of members of the public; or
- Interferes with, obstructs, or renders dangerous for passage, any public highway or right-of-way, or waters used by the public; or
- Commits any other act or omission declared by law to be a public nuisance and for which no sentence is specifically provided.
The most common types of public nuisance charges stem from loud actions. For example, shooting off fireworks in the middle of the night, allowing your dogs to bark loudly outside for an extended period every day or playing loud music on the radio are all actions that could lead to public nuisance charges. With that being said, noise isn’t the only action that can result in charges. If you graffiti a building or fail to adhere to city code by having junk or broken down vehicles in your property, there’s a chance you’ll be hit with a public nuisance charge as well. Think of it as a “jack of all trades” charge for any annoying action, especially if the action continues after a warning.
Penalties For A Public Nuisance Charge
If you are charged with public nuisance in Minnesota, you will be facing misdemeanor charges. In Minnesota, misdemeanor crimes are punishable by:
- Fines up to $1,000.
- Up to 90 days in jail.
In most cases, individuals charged with being a public nuisance will not spend any time in jail, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of the realm of possibilities. Fines usually don’t hit the maximum either, but it can still be costly, which is why a number of people charged with a public nuisance crime elect to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent them in court. Oftentimes a defense lawyer can get the charge reduced or dropped with a little effort, so it’s worth seeing if a lawyer thinks you have a good case.
At Appelman Law Firm, we offer a free initial case review where you can sit down with a lawyer and talk about all your options before hiring them as representation. If you’re wondering if contesting a public nuisance charge is worth the time and effort, set up that quick consultation by clicking here or give us a call at (952) 224-2277.