Car Audio Wins in Florida Supreme Court

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Richard Catalano vs. State of Florida

The Florida Supreme Court made it legal to crank up your car stereo in the Sunshine State, vindicating a Florida lawyer who was cited for blasting a Justin Timberlake song back in 2007.

Richard Catalano vs. State of Florida
Attorney Richard Catalano fought a noise ordinance ticket all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.

Clearly, they ticketed the wrong guy.

On Wednesday, the court ruled unanimously, on the basis of free speech, to overturn the state’s law banning loud noise audible 25 feet away from a car.   The seven justices called the old statute  “invalid because it is an unreasonable restriction on the freedom of expression,” reported

Justice Jorge Labarga noted the old law exempted businesses and political messages from the noise ban, but not general motorists, which was deemed a violation of the First Amendment.

Labarga was also skeptical of the state’s claim that the old noise ordinance made traffic safer.

The case was first filed by Richard Catalano, a lawyer who got a $73 ticket while driving to work.


See also:

Car Stereo Case Goes to Florida Highest Court

Car Stereo Law Enforced 1,000 Times 

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  1. To be sure… If the court can apply common sense to legislation, the car audio listener can apply common sense to using his car audio system. Respect the neighborhoods and other places and times where common sense says the car stereo should not be played loud.

    Ray Windsor
    German Maestro

  2. This could set a presidence and get all the noise ordences banned even in other states.
    This may not be a Supream court rulling but it can be used to help end needless laws in other states. But keep in mind playing a loud stereo in your car with the windows down past a resonable time say 8:00 or 10:00 pm is showing your negbors disrespect to there freedome of quite noise free negborhood.
    Crank it up when you on the highway and no one but you can hear it but keep it turned down when your on city streets and it could be heard outside your car. Personlly I might not like what your listing to.
    This law could also be rephrased and reinstated to fit the bill and be legal.

    Common sense says turn it down when your pulling into your negborhood, and close to your house. The kids that like breaking windows and taking your gear know where you live, don’t avertise it if you would like to keep it. The attention you get might not be what your looking for.

  3. Our store was interviewed by ABC News this morning. They wanted to know if the change would help or hurt business. I said the law will not affect us, what affects my business is the public perception that all we do is make cars loud and annoying.

  4. It is about time…

    I not only live in Florida but in one of the worst cities for this law…


    I really annoys me that Car Audio people like myself can get tickets for loud music…BUT when it comes to bike week those A%&[email protected] can pull up beside me with there stupid LOUD, no muffler having exhaust systems? The cops just look at them and go “Nice bike”.. BS i say!!

    I really think that law makers need to find something else to worry about. Like all the run down buildings and figuring out a way to clean up the FAMOUS Daytona Beach side area…

    To all my fellow Bass Boomers and Audio Junkies..

    Spring Break Nationals is FINALLY BACK!
    I hope ROCKFORD Brings the pain this year!

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