3 Things to Know When Throwing an Unruly party

Shows a picture of an unruly party citation

What is the Unruly Party Law in the City of Orange?

The prohibited gathering law in the City of Orange is aimed at reducing the number of house parties in the area. Unruly parties and prohibited gatherings, often occur around Chapman University and can become a safety hazard when they involve excessive public drunkenness, attract hundreds of people or just be the source of excessive noise in the neighborhood. While most parties are not a public nuisance, the Orange Police Department steps in to enforce the law when necessary to prevent a party from becoming unruly.

Shows a picture of an unruly party citation
If you charged as a misdemeanor then you need representaion on your case.

Background on the City of Orange Law When Throwing a Loud Unruly Party  

It is important to familiarize yourself with the laws regarding prohibited gatherings There are potential challenges to consider, such as neighbors filing noise complaints and potential criminal liabilities.

To understand the city of Orange’s prohibited gathering laws refer to the city ordinance.

9.39.050 Prohibited Gatherings.
A.     It is unlawful for a host to knowingly hold or allow a party at which there is loud and unruly conduct and/or to permit underage drinking by a juvenile to whom the host is neither a parent nor legal guardian. For purposes of this section, a host knowingly holds or allows a party at which there is loud and unruly conduct whenever the host is aware or should reasonably have been aware of the conduct occurring at the party. It shall be prima facie evidence or presumed that the host knew or should have known of the loud and unruly conduct if the host is present on the premises at any point during the party or has received notice as set forth in Section 9.39.090 of this code. It shall not be a violation of this chapter if a host calls the police department to disperse individuals from a party prior to the Police Department receiving other complaint calls regarding said party and the host has asked such persons to leave and they have refused.
B.     A host need not be present at the premises to be liable for a violation of this chapter. If the host is a minor and the premises is owned, rented or leased by the host’s parents or guardians, they may be held jointly and severally liable for violations of this chapter.
C.    It is unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person: (1) to be present at, attend or participate in a loud or unruly gathering; and (2) to do so in a manner that contributes to the loud or unruly gathering, as defined in Section 9.39.040(F). (Ord. 03-16.A, 2016; Ord. 8-09, 2009)

This article will discuss the application of the law by the City of Orange and its prosecution by the Orange City Attorney at the Santa Ana courthouse as a misdemeanor. It will also provide information on what to expect in the event of a police presence at your probated gathering.

The city of Orange has strict rules against prohibited gatherings and loud properties. These rules were put in place by the city council in 2015. In 2015, the City of Orange City Council decided to strongly enforce this law.

What Happens When the police Come by to stop an Unruly Party?

Since 2015 the Orange Police Department has been sending officers when house parties become out of control. In summary, the city of Orange has been enforcing their ordinances more aggressively.

The process starts with an unrulyparty and a neighbor complaint. The Orange Police Department will respond, shut down the unruly party, and enforce the laws. Sometimes, officers may issue a citation for a misdemeanor and refer the case to the City of Orange City Attorney for prosecution at the Orange County Superior Court in the City of Santa Ana.

If there were previous calls to the department for the unruly party and prohibited gathering at the same house, the police officer will enforce future violations more aggressively.These cases are also know as loud and unruly house party cases in the City Orange.

Or some neighbors will refer to them as Chapman students throwing loud parties.These situations do no normally occur especially in the City or Orange. These laws are frequently enforced against students from Chapman University and around college towns who host prohibited gatherings on private property. If the host is under 18 and the property is owned, rented, or leased by their parents or guardians, they may be held jointly and severally responsible for infractions of this chapter and face both civil fines and criminal charges.

The Orange police department will dispatch a police cruiser to the location in the event of a prohibited gathering. They will first give a warning that the party is loud and they have received complaints. However, if there are too many people at the unruly party ie 250 people in w 3 bedroom house then they will proceed to shut down the unruly party. Other factors that will lead thrum to shut down the party is if they observed  curfew violations, disorderly conduct, and underage drinking.  In some  cases the host may be cited a  misdemeanors, and the defendant may face civil action for causing a police response.

Are Owners in the City of Orange Liable for Unruly Parties.

Yes and no. The owner of a property is only subject to prosecution if they knew or should have known that there was an unruly party at the house.  Practically speaking, it is never the case that the owner of a property will throw a party that justifies an prohibited gathering. The nature of these parties to lend themselves to a host who let it get out of control. 

What Happens after I am Cited for  a court case for Unreasonable noise at a Get Together? 

The criminal case is filed at the Santa Ana Courrthouse as a misdemeanor against the person who was throwing the party. The person being cited will need to show up to court on the case on the first date of court.

After you are cited by the police department eventually a police report is generated and written up. It is sent to the Orange County District Attorneys office however, the Orange County District attorneys office will refer these cases to the Orange City Attorney as they prefer to enforce their own municipal codes. It almost the something except it is prosecuted at the city level instead of the county.

This first date of court at the Santa Ana courthouse will be in department C54 at the date of this writing. There will you get a chance to enter a plea of guilty of not guilty.  If you enter a plea of guilty and accept your charges then you will get a misdemeanor on your record and possible probation.  If you enter a not guilty plea then you move the case into pretrial.  Pretrial at the Santa Ana courthouse  is a fancy way to say negotiation.

As a person who is being charged with a crime for unruly house party it is your goal to move this case away from a misdemeanor conviction. 

Does it settle my case if I pay my fine in the mail?

Another reason why people get bench warrants for prohibited gatherings in the City of Orange is the confusion of civil and criminal issues going on. These cases can be pursued both civilly by the city as well as criminally. The civil side invoices a bill several hundred dollars and is independent from the civil case. Unfortunately for many people who are not familiar with the legal system, they make the payment thinking that this would resolve the whole issue and they would not need to go to court and skip the date which results in a warrant for arrest. Which means threat if you paid the bill you are still on the hook for the criminal case.

Will making a payment to the city of Orange result in the dismissal of my criminal case?

Not necessarily, the money paid is for the generating the police response. Often times people will pay the money and think they do not have to go court only to have a warrant go out for the their arrest.

Does pleading guilty to a unruly prohibited gatherings  go on my criminal record. 

yes, pleading to a misdemeanor prohibited gathering charge or unruly gathering in the city of orange will result in conviction for a misdemeanor on your criminal record. 

Can an owner of a house get into trouble when they are not throwing the party. 

yes, however it is highly unlikely to happen. As owners and homeowners tend to not have knowledge of what is happening at their properties. This law is designed to prevent an unruly party and not to punish home owners. The people who get charged are usually the ones  who live on the premises. 

What if I don’t get anything in mail regarding my case?

You may get something in the mail, but do not hang your hat on it and think that you do not have to show up to court if it is not mailed to you. The reason for this is because you already signed the promise to appear in court. Some people will not appear in court because they said there was nothing in the mail regarding it which eventually results in a bench warrant.

Is the Owner of the property liable W when there is a House Party with hundreds of people on a residential property?

To understand prohibited gatherings in the City of Orange, it is important to note that both the host and the homeowner may face consequences, regardless of whether they are present at the location and in addition it is not necessary for either party to be on the premises. However, realistically the person who will be cited is the host of the party.

If you have been cited for throwing an unruly party then its important that you get representation on your case to avoid a misdemeanor charge on your record and the potential civil liabilities that come with the problem. .  You can reach out to our office at 714-589-3063 to set up a consultation at our office in the City of Tustin about your case. 

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