Legal Question in Criminal Law in Mississippi

If there is no sound ordnance in your county can you be charged with disturbing the peace? We have a neighbor who complains about our music and will shoot guns in protest then call the police. The first two times the officer apologized and informed us of the no sound ordnance. Now another officer has came out twice and informed us we can be charged with disturbing the peace anyway. This officer is friends with the neighbor... I feel it is getting to be harassment. We live with neighbors all living a football field away from each other and all other neighbors say they aren't bothered. It isn't every night or every week. Are we doing wrong?

Asked on 4/04/16, 7:20 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Anders Ferrington Anders Ferrington PLLC

You can be and have been charged. I suggest you seek counsel to fight this charge

Read more
Answered on 4/05/16, 12:16 pm
Wayne Woodall Wayne Woodall Attorney

If you have been formally charged you should seek the advice of an Attorney as soon as practicable. The charge of "disturbing the peace" does not rely upon some "sound ordinance" to be a valid charge. The question boils down to "will reasonable people, [in the position (or location) of the people who are complaining] be offended at the loudness of the music. People have the right to exist in their lifestyles without the introduction of your music. Certainly if this is a sporadic or infrequent event you probably will find most neighbors to be quite condoning, but in your narrative you state "it isn't every night or every week" but you do not state how often it occurs. Apparently it is occurring with such frequency as to become annoying or bothersome to the others who wish NOT to be forced to listen to your choice of music at those times and on those dates when you do broadcast the sound across the neighborhood. The bottom line questions would be "would reasonable people in the position of your neighbors (the ones who are claiming that their "peace" is being disturbed" consider the volume of the music, or the duration of the music (or perhaps even the time they are required to endure the music) to be bothersome or otherwise make them uncomfortable. Questions such as "how much if any does the sound interfere with other activities they are attempting to undertake (such as sleeping; enjoying a quiet evening on the front porch talking with one another...etc.) need to be considered when measuring the effect of your music on others. If the music volume is bothersome you can be charged with the offense and are subject to a conviction. In most states this would include a possible sentence to the county jail and/or a fine of "up to $1000" or both exposure to the fine and incarceration as a remedy for the offense or as a penalty for violation of the law. It is strongly suggested that you meet with an Attorney to divulge to your Counsel exactly what conduct is subject of the complaints and adhere to Counsel's opinion as to a course of conduct to undertake in the future.

Read more
Answered on 4/05/16, 1:37 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Criminal Law questions and answers in Mississippi