The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic resulted in lengthy stay at home orders in hopes to prevent and slow the spread of the virus. The orders affected other businesses, resulting in the closure of restaurants, bars, and clubs. With these places closed, Los Angeles Police report they have seen an increase in noisy house parties throughout Hollywood Hills. According to ABC 7 News, many of these parties are taking place at short term rentals.
Officers in the Hollywood department have issued a video warning to residents and other potential party goers telling them not to “come up here to party. Come up here and enjoy Hollywood, but observe and obey COVID [precautions and rules].” Officers said that calls complaining about large parties was up approximately 20% from the usual numbers over Memorial Day weekend.
Officers are warning both homeowners and party goers about potential consequences of hosting or participating in these parties. Prosecutors stated that the consequences for the parties can range from a citation to jail time.
Under certain circumstances, hosting or participating in a loud party can result in a charge of disturbing the peace under California Penal Code 415. One of these circumstances includes “maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] another person by loud and unreasonable noise.” A charge of disturbing the peace can be simply an infraction, but it can also be charged as a misdemeanor. Right now, because of added Coronavirus related restrictions on social gatherings, a party host or participant could face other consequences as well such as fines.
It is important to note that there are defenses to a “disturbing the peace” accusation and charge. For example, a prosecutor must show that the defendant acted “willfully and maliciously” to disturb another person and must show that the noise was “loud and unreasonable.” Both of these elements can be argued by a skilled Los Angeles Criminal defense attorney to show that there was no intent to disturb or that the noise was not unreasonable.
If you are facing a citation or charge for disturbing the peace, make sure to contact our experienced attorneys at the Kann California Law Group today. Many times these cases result due to a misunderstanding, such as a party that wasn't meant to disturb anyone but allegedly did--we will take the time to listen to your side of the story and support you in your defense against your charges. All charges are worth fighting, as you do not want a criminal record, so contact us today online or at (888) 744-7730 to schedule a free case consultation.