Everyone values their peace and quiet, however we all know that at times, people make noise. What exactly then is an unreasonable noise charge? In New Jersey, the noise level must meet certain criteria and go past a certain time in order for someone to receive a noise violation. An unreasonable noise charge is similar to a disturbing the peace offense, however, the noise cannot merely be limited to one or more human voices. In order for the charge to constitute unreasonable noise, several different things must be shown.
Unreasonable Noise in Detail
In order for a charge of unreasonable noise to be issued in New Jersey, several things must be shown. First and foremost, it must be shown that you created a loud and unreasonable level of noise intentionally and with the primary purpose of disturbing another person. It then must be shown that the noise did indeed disturb one or more people, even if it was not the person you intended to disturb.
It sounds complicated and it is a rather difficult charge to prove. If you are facing a noise violation issued by a New Jersey town, contact Villani & DeLuca in order to understand your options in defending this charge.
An Example of Unreasonable Noise
Imagine you are having a BBQ in Toms River to celebrate a nice summer weekend. You have invited less than 10 friends to join you in your backyard for dinner. You have music playing and people are relaxing and conversing in your yard. After the sun goes down a little after 8:30pm, your neighbor asks you to turn off your music because she is trying to put her infant to sleep. You turn it down, and then as the evening progresses, your neighbor asks you to move your guests inside, as the conversation is disturbing her child’s sleep.
Now, you are annoyed. So, instead of trying to reach a solution, you turn your music back on, louder than before, refill your guest’s drinks, and start to engage in loud conversation. Two or three times your neighbor complains and each time you turn your music up even louder. Finally, your neighbor notifies the police.
You can then be charged with unreasonable noise because you intentionally raised the volume of your stereo to a decibel that would purposely disturb your neighbors. You were malicious in your behavior and your primary purpose was to anger and disrupt your neighbor’s evening. You are not breaking the law by having friends in your yard, by listening to music at a reasonable level, or by having a few drinks on your own private property. However, when you chose to raise the volume of music and conversation to disturb your neighbor at an unreasonably loud decibel, you committed a violation of the town or borough noise ordinance.
Penalties for Unreasonable Noise Violations
As you can see from the previous example, this charge might be hard to prove. After all, it is your word against your neighbors that it was your intent to annoy them. The police are not usually eager to charge someone for playing loud music, conversation, cheers or other loud games if they are not done for the express purpose of annoying another. However, if you often engage in this type of noise and you ignore requests from police to stop making unreasonable noise, then your conduct does appear willful and intentional. In that instance, you can be fined sometimes as much as thousands of dollars for violating a noise ordinance.
Contact a NJ Attorney About Your Noise Violation
If you have been issued a violation for creating excessive noise in a New Jersey town, you should contact Villani & DeLuca today. The firm’s defense lawyers will be able to inform you of your rights and options when facing an ordinance violation such as this. Villani & DeLuca lawyers frequently represent clients from Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey. Call today for your free consultation!