In Los Angeles, if you have been charged with a zoning code violation, a Los Angeles zone code violations attorney should be your first call. While a violation may not sound serious, you could actually face criminal charges for zone code violations. In fact, some charges may be classified as a felony, depending on the severity of the charge.
At Blake & Ayaz, we use our nearly 60 years of experience and knowledge of zone code laws to defend our clients who have been charged with zoning code violations. Any legal situation involving zoning in LA can be complicated, and many individuals are unaware of what Los Angeles zone laws entail. Fortunately, we can defend you if you ever get charged with zone code violations.
Zoning codes are a broad category of law that are meant to orchestrate how land and property are used within a jurisdiction. The thinking behind these codes is that they create some consistency of expectations around land use, property standards, activities, and safety within a community. These laws are meant to play a role in everything from aesthetics to safety to environmental effects. With such a range in terms of impact that these land laws are meant to have, it should come as no surprise that the codes impact broad elements of property ownership and management. Things like signage requirements, building code, and environmental regulations all fall under the category of zoning codes.
If you fail to adhere to certain zone codes across Los Angeles, you could be penalized through fines, jail time, or probation. Zoning codes can be violated in any environment, whether residential or commercial. There are several different ways you can violate zone codes, including:
The consequences for violating zone codes can be staggering, and you may find it difficult to financially recover if you’ve been charged. An experienced Los Angeles zone code violations attorney can explain the next steps for you and ensure you are as least impacted by such a charge as possible.
In California, the Code Enforcement Department is responsible for enforcing Los Angeles’ zone code laws. They ensure individuals comply with the rules, regulations, and ordinances regarding zoning, land use, community preservation concerns, and other such issues. If you’ve been accused of violating these regulations, or if you wish to file a report for another’s zoning violation, you must discuss your situation with this department.
There are certain issues that code enforcement does not help individuals with, as these are instead handled by other divisions. The following complaints should be given to other agencies, as zoning code enforcement cannot assist you directly.
While the Code Enforcement Department has the ability to administer and enact the law and ensure residents throughout Los Angeles are abiding by it, they cannot address every type of complaint. If you feel the department can handle a complaint of yours but are opting not to, speak with a zoning code lawyer to learn what steps you can take.
If you’ve been charged with a zoning violation, it’s possible to appeal the determination. While you can appeal to a zoning agency or through the court system, generally, the city requires you to go through the appeals process before challenging the charge in court.
If you have been charged with a zoning violation and are in the process of appealing it, then you might consider obtaining a permit for conditional use. An attorney who understands the complexities of these zoning laws can guide you to your next steps.
Depending on your situation, you will likely be penalized for the zoning violation. For minor incidents, you could be required to pay a fine. These fines could be imposed daily until you resolve your violation. As an example, you may be fined every day that a fire hazard on your property is not cleared out. If you’re doing auto repair at your residence that is not permitted, you could be fined until you cease what you’re doing.
Zoning officials are responsible for clearly stating what regulation you’ve violated so you can fix it and explaining what the penalty for such a violation would be.
You may be subject to a lawsuit or forced correction if your violation is excessive or if you don’t take any action after being charged. For example, an official may give you one week to address your dying vegetation problem on your property. If you do not complete the task in this amount of time, you may sustain more fines or legal action. Through these actions, you are essentially forced into addressing the violation before your situation becomes more difficult.
In extreme circumstances, you could face criminal charges. If your property poses a serious health and safety risk to your community and if you don’t make any attempt to resolve the problem, jail time is a potential outcome. However, discussing your case with a zoning violation hearings lawyer as soon as possible can ensure that this eventuality doesn’t occur.
Some individuals or business owners believe they can handle their own legal matters by themselves, as they feel hiring an attorney is expensive or not worth the time. However, people who try to manage these issues on their own generally find that they waste time and money by not understanding what they are up against. Before your situation gets worse, consider hiring a knowledgeable and trustworthy zone code violation attorney.
Most people know to stay silent when talking to the police, but it’s also important that you do not speak or explain yourself to zoning or building inspectors without legal representation. A Los Angeles zone code violation attorney knows what types of questions you may be asked, as well as how to respond for the most optimal outcome. Your attorney can prevent you from giving out statements that could hurt you down the line.
When you’ve found the right zoning code attorney to represent you, they may let you know what types of defenses they’ll use in your case. There are a few ways that zone code violation attorneys use frequently, such as:
While a zone violation in Los Angeles can be alarming, a reputable attorney can defend you against an intimidating legal system while ensuring you can move forward.
Our team at Blake & Ayaz is committed to supporting you as you deal with your zoning code issues. The legal system across Los Angeles can be confusing to understand and deal with, especially if you don’t have any prior experience in law. Rather than take time from your busy schedule to try and navigate the ins and outs of these complex laws, let us help.
We can create a strong defense for you that could potentially eliminate or mitigate your penalties if you’ve been charged with violating zone code laws. To learn more about what we can do for you, reach out to us today.