My question involves criminal law for the state of: CT
Per statute : 53a-182,
I have prepared the following dissertation for the judge. I have never been to a courthouse proceeding before and was charged with Disorderly Conduct for making unreasonable noise, although the officer was not present at the time the music was allegedly playing. Could you please share your comments on the following. I need some advice fast so that I can decide whether to hire a lawyer or not. In the dissertation I am the resident of Apt. 105.
On ---- of July, 2008, 8:30 PM, I was charged with the following:
Sec. 53a-182. Disorderly conduct: Class C misdemeanor. (a) A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person: [...] (3) makes unreasonable noise [...]
The following has to be noted:
1. The officer was not present when the said music was playing, nor did he hear any music being played upon his arrival at the scene. There is no evidence to judge whether the music that was allegedly playing was “unreasonable” noise or that the defendant recklessly created a risk thereof. There is also no evidence to suggest any intent of causing inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. The officer’s assessment was made solely, and with partiality on the basis of the complainant’s testimony without regard to the defendant’s argument.
2. The statute accuses the “person” who makes unreasonable noise. The defendant was not playing the music himself. The officer asked to speak with the leaseholder (defendant) and he was held responsible for the offence.
3. The defendant admitted that music was playing, albeit at an ambient level. The officer then asked for the music to be played again, and upon his request, music was turned on. The officer did not visit the complainant’s apartment to judge whether the music was truly audible in their apartment. He called the complainant on his cell phone and took his testimony instead. It is the defendant’s belief that the complainant is caused annoyance by music playing in an adjacent apartment and not from the apartment immediately below his, i.e., Apt. 105. In the officer’s judgment the music that was played upon his request by the occupant of Apt. 105 was at an “unreasonable level.”
4. When the officer had asked music to be turned on again, he did not speak with the defendant directly. Instead he asked music to be turned on by one of the occupants in the house. The defendant never admitted that the music that was being played upon his request was at the same level as before. The officer’s judgment on whether the music was playing at the same level as earlier was solely based on the testimony of the complainant which he asked him over his cell phone.
5. The complainant has informed police of music playing in Apartment 105, three times in the past. No one else in the entire building has ever complained of the same or any other issues in Apt. 105. In each of the previous instances when officers arrived to investigate the matter, no music was to be heard from Apartment 105.
6. “the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant 1) (intended to cause / recklessly created a risk of causing) inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, and (2) made unreasonable noise.”
There is a. no evidence to suggest music was playing at an unreasonable level; b. the defendant never intended to cause/recklessly created a risk of making unreasonable noise; c. The officer did not hear any music being played upon his arrival; d. The officer asked music to be re-played by the occupant instead of the defendant.
7. The complainant has been given the opportunity to shift to a different apartment in the same building by the building authorities. The previous tenants in his apartment never had any complaints.
8. The complainant is often heard moving furniture loudly in his apartment which causes great discomfort to the residents of Apt. 105. This has happened repeatedly over the past 2 months.
9. The defendant is a law abiding resident of CT. He has resided in this state for over 10 years. He has never been charged with any misdemeanor. He has never received a summons to any court ever before on any count. He feels that, in light of the above stated circumstances he has been wrongly accused, given that there is ample doubt over the accusations in light of lack of evidences against him. It is my earnest request that the court reviews the facts of the case and imparts a fair and impartial judgment.
I, the defendant, am amazed and feel victimized to find myself in this predicament. None of the people I live with or live in close proximity to have ever raised any complaints against me. The officer spoke arrogantly and told me, “You cannot play music for the rest of the night, period.” He mentioned that if the complainant informs the police of noise again, he will issue a summons. His reasoning based on only one person’s information seemed irrational and exaggerated. I asked him to issue the summons and he said, “Alright, I’ll give you the summons.” It is surprising that an officer should issue summons merely at the suggestion of a civilian without any evidence to indict me beyond a reasonable doubt. His decision to issue summons without taking into account my side of the incident is unfortunate and biased.