Defense For Orange County Public Nuisance Ordinances Violations

Have you been cited or charged with public nuisance in Orange County, CA? The complaint may have come from a orange county public nuisancedisgruntled neighbor or public official who accused you of “disturbing the peace.”  At Visco Wohl Law, we are prepared to represent you in a civil lawsuit or criminal case and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, our criminal defense attorneys can assist you in negotiating an amicable resolution or fight to help you avoid criminal punishment.

Call us today (714) 689-6042 to schedule a free case evaluation.

California Public Nuisance Laws

Under California Penal Code 372 & 373a PC, it is a crime to create a public nuisance or to fail to remove a public nuisance on your property.

What is a Public Nuisance?

A public nuisance is a term used to describe a wide range of behaviors that either creates a danger, disturbance or offends an entire neighborhood or community of people. Anything that interferes with public health, comfort or convenience could be deemed a public nuisance. To be charged, the interference with the property must be substantial and continuous.

Orange County Codified Ordinances sets forth an exhaustive list of violations that constitute a nuisance. Here are just a few examples:

Loud Noises/”Disturbing the peace”: blaring loud music or TV, letting your dog bark or howl outside for a long period of time

Odors: second-hand smoke from cigarettes, cigars, or marijuana, strong cooking smells, smoke from grill, etc.

Health/Safety Violations: lack of proper maintenance (letting your lawn grow too tall, cesspool/sewer system, dumping garbage in streams, substandard housing) that could lead to unsanitary conditions that attract insects and rodents or disease

Violation of Laws: public nudity, operating a meth lab or drug dealing, obstructing a roadway, waterway or park by protesting.

Penalties for Creating or Allowing Public Nuisance

The court may impose injunctive relief requiring you to reduce the adverse affects of the activity or banning the activity altogether. Factors such as the location of the nuisance and zoning restrictions in the area will be taken into consideration.

Public nuisance is a misdemeanor level offense that is punishable by:

  • Up to six months in county jail; and/or
  • A standard misdemeanor fine of up to $1,000 plus an additional fine of $200
  • criminal record

If you were served a written notice by the district attorney or health officer to remove or discontinue the public nuisance and you failed to comply, you would be charged with a separate offense for each day that the nuisance is allowed to continue.

Legal Defenses

  • wrongfully accused by police or neighbors or city
  • somebody else’s fault
  • you did not receive the required notice in writing from the relevant authorities.