Ryan M. Pacyga

Top rated Criminal Defense attorney in St. Paul, Minnesota

Ryan Pacyga Criminal Defense
Ryan M. Pacyga
Ryan Pacyga Criminal Defense

Practice Areas: Criminal Defense; view more

Licensed in Minnesota since: 2002

Education: William Mitchell College of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2008 - 2013
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Ryan Pacyga Criminal Defense

860 Blue Gentian Rd
Suite 175
St. Paul, MN 55121 Visit website


Ryan Pacyga practices exclusively criminal defense in Federal and State court. He is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, but he represents accused people across the nation. Ryan defends people accused of serious felony offenses, including murder, manslaughter, criminal sexual conduct, mail/wire fraud, assault, conspiracies, RICO/racketeering, controlled substances/drugs, criminal vehicular homicide, firearm and white collar charges, as well as all levels of DWI/DUI.  He also advises and protects people under investigation for alleged crimes or in search warrant situations.

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, state and federal firearm possession, DWI and other crimes. He has also prevailed in appeal issues. Highly regarded by his peers, he has received an "Excellent" rating from Avvo, has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, Fox News Now, 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 served 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 tips, Ryan advises other criminal defense lawyers and is hired by other lawyers to take over their criminal trials. Active in his community, he coached youth football, baseball and hockey, and also volunteers mentoring law students and new criminal defense lawyers.

Practice areas

Criminal Defense

Focus areas

Assault & Battery, Criminal Domestic Violence, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, False Accusations, Felony, Misdemeanor, Murder, Sex Offenses

  • 100% Criminal Defense

First Admitted: 2002, Minnesota

Professional Webpage: https://www.arrestedmn.com/attorney-profile/ryan-m-pacyga-es...

  • 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
  • Volunteer: Salvation Army, Minneapolis, MN, 2022
  • Volunteer Union Gospel Mission St. Paul, MN, 2023
  • Volunteer mentor, University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2022
  • 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
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • State v. I.O.: Charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct Dismissed after victory in suppression hearing., 2020
  • United Stats v. Somerville: 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Ryan Pacyga was trial counsel on federal felon in possession of firearm case. Ryan raised a 6th Amendment issue and Due Process issue on appeal, arguing that the Court interfered with Defendant's right to a fair jury. The 8th Circuit shared the concerns that Ryan had raised and remanded the case back to the trial court for further proceedings., 2023
  • Idaho v. Randall (Idaho Supreme Court). Ryan Pacyga was trial court counsel, litigated a suppression issue based upon unconstitutional canine/dog search of vehicle. The district court denied the suppression motion but the case went up on appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court. The Supreme Court agreed with Ryan Pacyga's arguments and reversed the trial court and suppressed the evidence, creating new constitutional search/seizure law in Idaho., 2021
  • 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

Office location for Ryan M. Pacyga

860 Blue Gentian Rd
Suite 175
St. Paul, MN 55121

Phone: 612-339-5844


10 Years Super Lawyers
6 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2008 - 2013

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