Public Nuisance Charges in Arizona
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Overall, crime rates have declined in the United States during the Coronavirus shutdown. As social distancing has become the norm and the economy has been halted, there are fewer opportunities to commit a crime. However, domestic abuse and public nuisance charges have increased in Arizona.
What is considered a public nuisance under Arizona law?
Pursuant to ARS 13-2917, it is a public nuisance if any behavior results in one or more of the following outcomes on a community:
- Injury to health
- Offensive to the senses or an obstruction to the free use of property that interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property by an entire community or neighborhood or by a considerable number of persons
- Unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in a customary manner, of any navigable lake, river, bay, stream, canal or basin, or any public park, square, street or highway.
- Sell, offer to sell, transfer, trade or disseminate any item which is obscene as defined in section 13-3501, within two thousand feet, measured in a straight line, of the nearest boundary line of a private or public school, public park or private residence
Any person who knowingly maintains or commits a public nuisance or who knowingly fails or refuses to perform any legal duty relating to the removal of a public nuisance is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
What is the difference between private nuisance vs. public nuisance claims?
Both private and public nuisance claims can be filed with law enforcement. The difference being, that a private nuisance negatively impacts an individual or small number of people. Whereas a public nuisance claim has a wider scope and generally has perceived negative impacts on an entire community.
Examples of public nuisances
- Bright lights
- Loud or irritating noises
- Sickening or noxious smells
- Major health hazards
- The unsafe storage of dangerous materials
Examples of Private nuisances
- Loud music from a neighbors house
- Incessant dog barking from the yard next door
- Encroachment on a neighbor’s land
Misdemeanor Lawyer in Tempe
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