Neighbors can become your greatest friends or your worst enemies, or even remain complete strangers. Regardless of your relationships with those who live or vacation near you, it is not uncommon for them to accuse you of some illegal activity or nuisance sometime.
Perhaps you have received complaints about the noise level from your residence, threats of legal action if the noise does not cease or follow-through of those threats. With a qualified criminal defense attorney, you can defend yourself against charges of noise violations in your Ocean City neighborhood.
The sound was exempt
Though annoying, not all loud sounds are disturbances according to the law. Examples of sounds your neighbors cannot complain about are mowing your lawn or using tools. You have every right to care for your lawn and work on projects.
The noise was not loud enough
Maryland determines maximum permissible noise levels according to time of day and land use. On residential properties, you cannot exceed 65 dB(A) during the day and 55 dB(A) during the night. If necessary, trained officials will measure the sound level emanating from your residence, or other residences you own if applicable. The ability to hear the noise from a certain distance also plays a role.
It was not nighttime hours
What does the law consider day and night? Daytime hours are from 7 in the morning to 10 at night, with nighttime hours being from 10 at night to 7 in the morning. Most complaints are about night noise. If the sound level was not outside the limit for this timeframe, then you did not commit a violation.
The sound did not fit the definition of a disturbance
What if you were having a loud party when the neighbors called the police? In addition to the sound level and time, the noise must fit the following definition of being
- Unusual for the time and place
- Detrimental to the health and safety of others
This may be harder to prove, however. Still, you have many options for avoiding the penalties of a noise violation in Ocean City.