Summary Offenses Articles

What is “unreasonable noise” as defined by 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 5503(a)(2)?

Disorderly Conduct, 18 Pa. C.S.A § 5503, is an offense that is cited frequently in Pennsylvania because it’s definition is so broad. Pennsylvania statutes define disorderly conduct as conduct that has “intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof.”  Disorderly conduct includes fighting, threatening, making unreasonable noise, and using obscene language and gestures. I wanted to provide more specific information for individuals that have been charged with § 5503(a)(2) for causing “unreasonable noise.”

What is unreasonable noise?

Unreasonable noise is to be given its “plain, ordinary meaning” and is defined as “noise which is not fitting or proper in respect to the conventional standards of organized society or a legally constituted community.” In order for the Commonwealth to convict someone of violating 18 Pa. C.S.A. 5503(a)(2), the Commonwealth must prove that the Defendant’s actions intentionally or recklessly caused or created a risk of …

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