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Party Foul: Can a Judge Order You to Stop Partying?

Nyjah Huston is just 21 years old and already is at the top of his profession. Huston is one of the world’s top professional skaters. Armed with an income from competitions and a slew of corporate sponsors like Nike, Huston bought a $2.7-million mansion in San Juan Capistrano in 2013, as well as a skate park in San Clemente. He is young, successful, and invites his friends to share in his good fortune.party_frat-300x225.jpg

His neighbors have been less than thrilled.

Orange County Sheriffs have been called to his home more than 20 times since he moved in, responding to complaints about noise, traffic, and littering. Huston has turned his home into the premier party destination in South Orange County.1 He was repeatedly warned by local law enforcement to cease the partying or face criminal charges.

Those warnings went unheeded, and Huston soon faced criminal charges. Huston recently plead no contest to two misdemeanors for public nuisance and resisting a peace officer. In exchange for his plea, the judge dismissed charges of disturbing the peace and trespassing, and sentenced him to three years probation and 200 hours of community service. Huston’s probation also contained an unusual condition. The judge ordered him to refrain from throwing parties between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. If he violates this order, the judge can revoke his probation and impose a jail sentence upon him.2

The Devil Is In the Details: Probation Conditions

When a person is placed on probation by a judge, there are generally terms that he or she must fulfill in order to avoid having probation revoked. Among these are usually requirements that the probationer remain employed, pay fines and restitution to any victims, and performing community service. Most importantly, probation always comes with the condition that the defendant must not violate any other laws during the term of his or her probation. So why would not throwing parties be a part of someone’s probation?

In California, maintaining a public nuisance is a misdemeanor under two different laws: California Penal Code sections 372 and 372(a). The law defines a public nuisance as anything that:

  • Is injurious to health, indecent, offensive to the senses or an obstruction to the free use of property; AND
  • Interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property by an entire community or neighborhood, or by any considerable number of persons.3

In addition to this general prohibition against committing any crime, Huston was ordered specifically not to throw any more nighttime parties. In determining probation conditions, judges are given fairly broad power to impose specific conditions so long as there is a logical connection to the crime he or she committed.4

In Huston’s case, the charges to which he plead no contest to public nuisance and resisting a peace officer charges, both of which stem from complaints about his parties in violation of San Juan Capistrano’s municipal code that prohibits the playing of music or other sounds that can be heard from 25 or more feet away between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Thus, the conditions imposed by the judge appear to be valid.

However, even without this specific condition, if Huston was to be convicted of another public nuisance charge, his probation could be revoked under the general condition that he refrains from any further violations of law.

Contact the Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich for Help

If you find yourself criminal facing charges, you should contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled team of attorneys has more than 35 years of experience successfully defending clients against criminal charges. We are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the best possible outcome in their cases.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

1. Meghann M. Cuniff, “Pro skateboarder Nyjah Huston to face charges if parties don’t stop, D.A. says,” Orange County Register, Sept. 30, 2014, available at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/huston-636831-home-parties.html. href=”#ref1″>↩

2. TMZ Staff, “Party’s Over: Pro Skater Nyjah Huston Punished Over Late Night Ragers,” TMZ Sports, March 23, 2016, available at http://www.tmz.com/2016/03/23/pro-skater-nyjah-huston-partys-over-punished-over-late-night-ragers/ – ixzz466tqrZy3 href=”#ref2″>↩

3. Cal. Pen. Code § 370.href=”#ref3″>↩

4. See Cal. Pen. Code § 1203.1. See also People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481, 486.href=”#ref4″>↩

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