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Ryan M. Pacyga

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Ryan Pacyga Criminal Defense
333 South 7th Street, Suite 2850
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612-339-5844
Fax: 612-454-4263
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2022
Selected to Rising Stars: 2008 - 2013
Licensed in Minnesota Since: 2002
Practice Areas: Criminal Defense
Attorney Profile

Ryan Pacyga practices exclusively criminal defense and Title IX investigations and hearings. He is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but he represents accused people in state and federal courts across the nation. Ryan defends people accused of serious felony offenses, including murder, manslaughter, criminal sexual conduct, fraud, assault, conspiracies, controlled substances, criminal vehicular homicide, firearm and white collar charges. He also protects atheltes and students accused of sexual misconduct in college and univeristy Title IX proceedings.

Mr. Pacyga has obtained several high profile not-guilty verdicts and dismissals in cases including murder, aggravated robbery, domestic strangulation, assault, criminal sexual conduct, controlled substance sale/possession, federal mail and wire fraud, federal controlled substances, DWI and other crimes. Highly regarded by his peers, he has received an "Excellent" rating from Avvo, has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and has been named by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine to its list of "Who's Who in Criminal Defense".

Ryan Pacyga serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and is a lifetime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Ryan believes in not only getting an excellent result in the courtroom, but on improving his clients' lives outside of the courtroom.

Regularly asked to share his experience, tips and perspective with others, Mr. Pacyga has appeared as a guest commentator on both national and local news broadcasts, and frequently teaches lawyers and judges at continuing legal education programs, including the law of self defense, criminal sexual conduct, Title IX, and trial skills. Active in his community, he volunteers as a coach for youth hockey, baseball and football, and also volunteers mentoring law students and new criminal defense lawyers. While Ryan is proud of his trial victories, he is equally proud of the many lives he has helped to turn around.

Practice Areas
  • 100%Criminal Defense
Focus Areas

Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Felony, Murder, Sex Offenses


9 Years Super Lawyers
6 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2022
  • Rising Stars: 2008 - 2013

About Ryan M. Pacyga

First Admitted: 2002, Minnesota

Professional Webpage:


  • Named to Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers 2014, 2015, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers
  • Minnesota Law & Politics, "Who's Who in Criminal Defense"
  • Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers, Top 40 Under 40, The National Trial Lawyers, 2013

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Volunteer mentor to college and law students 2002-present
  • Axelberg v. Commissioner of Public Safety (Minn. 2014).  Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers
  • Volunteer youth hockey, football, and baseball coach

Educational Background

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, B.A., in Speech Communications, Honors: Dean's List, 1999

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Lifetime Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Vice-Chair, Professionalism Committee, Hennepin County Bar Association's
  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Board of Directors: Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member, Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Treasurer, American Inns of Court, Richard T. Oakes Chapter

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Training lawyers how to raise and use the defenses of self defense and defense of another in murder and assault trials, author/presenter, The Law of Self Defense and Defense of Another, 2014
  • How to obtain additional evidence in criminal cases that can uncover helpful facts for a criminal defendant., author/presenter, Paradee Requests, 2015
  • The law of entrapment in a criminal case is complex. How to discover if your client was entrapped, and if so, how to present that in court to obtain a successful result., Presenter/Author, Entrapment: How to use the defense at trial, 2015


  • Criminal defense lawyer Ryan Pacyga explains what Criminal Sexual Conduct is in Minnesota, including the five different degrees of charges., Series on Criminal Sexual Conduct, Criminal Defense, Law, 2020


  • State v. I.O.: Charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct Dismissed after victory in suppression hearing., 2020
  • State v. M.F.: Dismissal of felony assault charges at trial., 2020
  • State of Minnesota v. A.O.N. Trial resulting in dismissal of all 5 charges of criminal sexual conduct. The defendant had a DIFFERENT lawyer at first. He went to trial on 5 charges of criminal sexual conduct. The jury voted 9 guilty and 3 not guilty. The defendant fired his lawyer and hired Ryan Pacyga. Ryan Pacyga took the case and went to trial. This time, with Ryan Pacyga as the lawyer, the jury voted 11 NOT GUILTY and one guilty. The prosecution dismissed all charges after that trial and the defendant is free., 2019
  • United States v. Lachlan McConnell: not guilty 46 counts of fraud and controlled substances; State v. R.M.: Not guilty assault with firearm via self defense; State v. L.F.: criminal vehicular homicide no adjudication, blood test suppressed; State v. B.L.: Not Guilty criminal sexual conduct; State v. J.H.: Not Guilty felony domestic assault; State v. E.Z.: Not Guilty 1st Degree Assault; State v. M.W.: Felony drug distribution dismissed; State v. A.W.: Solicitation of Prostitution dismissed; State v. J.D. 1st degree controlled substance sale dismissed; State v. T.L.: solicitation of prostitution dismissed; State v. J.M.: violation of Order for Protection dismissed; State v. Yang.: 3rd degree controlled substance dismissed; State v. Milton.: obstructing legal process dismissed; State v. B.B.: Not Guilty 1st Deg. Assault; State v. S.S.: Not Guilty 2nd Degree Assault; State v. C.C.: Not Guilty Felony Violation of Order for Protection; State v. Hartwig: Not Guilty of aiding a murder and felon in possession of a handgun.  State v. Benedict: Not Guilty of burglary.  State v. Wilmes: 9 counts of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon: jury verdict "not guilty" on every count; State v. T.B.: 14-count attempted murder: dismissed; State v. Kpedua: domestic strangulation jury trial: not guilty; State v. Zweber: drug possession: evidence suppressed, case dismissed; State v. A.L.: DWI jury trial: not guilty, State v. Khan: Not Guilty, domestic stragulation.  State v. Jacques: Not Guilty, DWI.  State v. Johnson: Case dismissed after 18 pounds of cocaine suppressed due to unconstitutional search; State v. Shoen: Not guilty, felony assault.  State v. Bielke: Not Guilty, 1st Degree Assault. State v. Craig: Not Guilty, felony violation of OFP; State v. Yang: 3d Controlled Substance Suppressed, case dismissed; State v. Williams: Not Guilty strangulation, terroristic threats, domestic assualt; State v Hamilton: Not Guilty Felony Domestic Assault; State v. Cook: Not Guilty felony DWI; State v. Gibbs: Malicious Punishment of Child Dismissed.

Industry Groups

  • Assaults
  • Drug Crimes
  • DWI & DUI Defense
  • Federal Crimes
  • Felonies
  • Gross Misdemeanors
  • Murder
  • Sex Crimes
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Office Location for Ryan M. Pacyga

333 South 7th Street
Suite 2850
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Phone: 612-339-5844

Fax: 612-454-4263

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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