How Much Does a Noise Violation Ticket Cost?

Written by: Staff

A noise violation ticket is given to those who are louder than the noise level laws in a certain area.  These violations can be handed out due to different circumstances such as too loud of a party or even from a car that may have been modified.

ABQ Aviation Police by Rescuenav, on Flickr
ABQ Aviation Police” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Rescuenav

How much does a noise violation ticket cost?

Depending on the number of offenses and local city, the fines can be anywhere from $50 to $250.  Offenses after the first one can be upwards of $500 to $1,000, depending on the number of offenses and geographical location.  In most cases, a police officer will almost always work with the offender if it’s the first complaint.  However, if the police officer has to continue and come to the complaint area, then a ticket may be issued.

According to, the penalty for violators in Greely City, Colorado, costs up to $1,000.  The fine may be reduced to $250 if the violator attends Neighborhood Conduct class and renders 15 hours of approved community service.  Repeat offenders will be fined $1,750 regardless of class or community service.

In the Village of Misenheimer, North Carolina, violators of the noise ordinance will be fined no more than $500, whereas individuals who break the said law in relation to operating or parking a vehicle, will be charged no more than $50.

In the City of East Lansing, noise violation fines can cost anywhere from $250 to $500.

Factors that affect the price

Type of noise violation

A noise violation can be one of a few different types.  Common noise complaints can come from radios, musical instruments, animals, construction, power tools, motor vehicles, an improper muffler, street vending or an improper use of a car horn.  In Minneapolis, for example, amplified sound from vehicles can result in a fine of up to $500 for the first offense, $700 for the second violation, and a maximum amount for the third offense.  At the Colorado State University, a noise violation ticket issued due to loud parties can cost as much as $1,000 per resident living in the house.  Every city will have its own laws in regards to noise ordinances.

The number of offenses

In some cities, first-time offenders will usually be fined the minimum amount, but if it’s the second or even the third, the fees can greatly rise.  For example, a second offense could be in the $350 range, while a third offense could be as much as $500.  In other cities, the maximum penalties can go up to $1,000.

What are the extra costs?

Other states require violators to pay for neighborhood conduct classes, which can cost up to $750.

Tips to know:

Depending on the location where the violation occurred, the punishment for noise violation may include imprisonment; however, this is rarely enforced.  Punishment in some areas includes an incarceration period of 90 days in addition to the fines, particularly for violators who commit a second offense.  Other cities penalize offenders with fines and jail time of up to six months.

In other cities, violators are required to perform hours of community service in addition to paying fines.

If it is your first time receiving a noise violation ticket, you may want to be polite when speaking with the police because they may reduce the fines if you are respectful.  But make sure not to get reported again as the authorities will add the amount they did not charge you for the first offense. So, if your ticket was dropped to $300 from $1,000 and you commit a second violation, the police will fine you the full $1,000 plus the $700 they did not charge you for your first offense.

Police do not usually use decibel meters to assess potential violations.  In some cities, the authorities have no set decibel limit and treat each case subjectively.

If you receive a noise violation ticket, you will be given a date and time to appear in court for an arraignment.  A possible plea arrangement, if you’re lucky, may be discussed.

One way to avoid getting a noise violation ticket is to let neighbors know of any event or situation that may cause a disturbance.  Another option is to get a noise permit, which can be obtained at the police station; however, neighbor complaints can lead to cancellation of the permit and issuance of noise tickets.

How can I save money?

These tickets, most of the time, only incur small fines, and most lawyers recommend just paying the ticket and avoid fighting it.

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