Are Noise Violations in Ann Arbor Really Criminal Misdemeanors? In other words are they crimes?
The short answer is yes. Ann Arbor has several noise ordinances including: 9:362 and 9:363.
What is the Ann Arbor Code 9:362?
The first of these is a general noise ordinance that makes it a crime to create any unreasonable noise that disturbs others. The ordinance was written in a way that it could be interrupted in several ways. It could be a neighbor, passer by, among other people who are disturbed. This is the type of charge that is often given to the big parties on or around the University of Michigan on football Saturdays.
What is the Ann Arbor Code 9:363?
The second type is a time-specific ordinance that prohibits certain kinds of noise between 10:00PM and 7:00AM. This ordinance is often enforced when there are loud parties at night. The ordinance states the exact decibel levels that make it a crime. One way to think about it is if your party can be heard off your property, then you are probably in violation of the ordinance.
Here is the actual law for Ann Arbor Code 9:362 and 9:363: https://library.municode.com/mi/ann_arbor/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TITIXPORE_CH119NOCO_ARTINHINO_9_362GEPR
There is another ordinance that can be given to those in attendance of a noisy party called contributing to a noisy party. This is often charged when the police have to come back more than once to a noisy party or when attendees don’t want to leave the party after the police have shut it down.
If the same residence receives several noise charges in a short period of time, then that residence may be subject to additional crimes and labeled a nuisance.
There may be some defenses to these crimes. It depends on the circumstances. Many times, these cases can be resolved without a criminal conviction; however, every case is different.
Other crimes that are often associated with noisy parties are drunk and disorderly conduct, open intox, public drunkenness, urinating in public (UIP), and drunk driving.
Open intox is probably the most common. Here is the law for Open Intox in Ann Arbor under code section 9:75: https://library.municode.com/mi/ann_arbor/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TITIXPORE_CH109LI_9_75COPU.
Here is a detailed article for Open Intox in Ann Arbor: http://hermanowskilaw.com/open-intox-ann-arbor/
If you’ve been charged criminally for having a noisy party or crimes related to noisy parties, then call me (734) 887-6078 for a free consultation. I’ll to my best to help you resolve this matter. In the fall I am in the 15th District Court up to three times a week. I’ve handled hundreds of these cases between my work with the University of Michigan -Student Legal Services and Hermanowski Law.