Disturbing the Peace
Disturbing the peace is when someone creates some type of noise that is bothers someone else. For example, loud music, or using loud machinery or equipment; and it’s usually a violation only after 9 or 10 pm. The charge can be considered disorderly conduct, it all depends on your state and local laws and ordinances. But it tends to be a misdemeanor, subject to fines and the slight possibility of jail time.
Police are the only ones who decide whether a scene is in violation of any noise ordinances. But it’s possible for people on both sides of the case to sue in civil court over whether repeated acts of disturbing the peace were actually occurring. The fact is, that some people have a low tolerance for noise pollution, and what some consider to be a disturbance of the peace, others may not. You have a right to end your neighbors calls to the police if a court of law determines your behavior is not in violation of disturbing the peace.
Even if the law is just about common sense and respecting your neighbors, a violation of disturbing the peace, while typically only a misdemeanor, can ruin your reputation and chances for employment, and will almost certainly cost you money in fines, and may just result in jail time.
What is a Noise Ordinance?
A noise ordinance is a law that regulates the amount of noise, duration of noise, and source of noise that affect their residents, and defines which sounds are and are not acceptable at any given time so that residents can live comfortably. A noise ordinance is based on a time schedule, and usually comes into effect in the evening, when most people are sleeping.
Sounds or noises that are defined in a jurisdiction’s noise ordinance tend to be produced by it’s citizens, but many ordinances also include industrial and commercial facilities if they are located near residential areas.
Things that might violate a noise ordinance are:
- barking dogs
- loud music
- power tools
- cars or motorcycles with excessively loud engines
- fireworks or explosives
Noise ordinances are handled differently by every community across the country. You can find out whether there is a noise ordinance in your community by checking with your local law enforcement officials or by reviewing your town or city’s official website.
If you believe a neighbor is violating a noise ordinance, why not talk to your neighbor before making an official complaint? If that fails or just isn’t possible, then contact the police.
If you’ve been charged with a noise violation, or accused of disturbing the peace, you will need proper representation in court to plead your case. Please fill out the contact form to the right, and our defense attorney will be in touch with you right away.