§ 36-429 of the Hillsborough County municipal codes is the official noise control ordinance. According to this ordinance, anyone can be cited for a noise violation if they:
- Make a noise disturbance that injures or endangers others;
- Make a noise disturbance that is unreasonably loud, disturbing or an overall nuisance;
- Make a noise disturbance that disrupts the peace and quiet of a neighborhood or the area in their general vicinity.
There are no specifications as to exact decibels at which a noise is a "disturbance" or "disruption of the peace" but residence and visitors can make complaints to local law enforcement if they feel as if a noise is a violation of the municipal code.
This section of the Hillsborough County municipal codes lists 13 exemptions, that is, 13 people, organizations or scenarios that cannot be cited for a noise violation under this code. According to § 36-435, those exemptions are:
- Bridge, street, highway, infrastructure or railroad construction/maintenance
- Sirens and other noises used lawfully by emergency motor vehicles
- Activities associated with both public and private athletic facilities within the county
- Firearm discharge (lawful use)
- Sounds associated with religious activities
- Sounds from domestic animals such as barking (unless the noise has become consistent and unreasonably loud)
- Authorized motor vehicle events (ex: car races)
- Noises associated with any Florida state fair
- Sounds from cars, trucks, etc.
- Any sounds that are already regulated by county environmental codes
- County-permitted construction
- Sounds originating from agricultural land
According to this code, anyone who violates a noise control ordinance can be prosecuted in the same way that a misdemeanor offender would be prosecuted. If convicted of the noise violation, the offender can be sentenced to pay a fine up to $500.00 and/or imprisonment in Hillsborough County jail for up to 60 days. If you have been cited for a noise violation in Hillsborough County, contact a Tampa criminal defense attorney at Taracks Gomez & Rickman today.