We are often led to believe that jail terms are only handed out to serious criminals who have transgressed the most serious of laws but this idea is just the stuff of movies, novels and fiction.
The real world, however, is a lot more different and people often get thrown into jail, for weeks, months and even years because of laws that are either too ridiculous or so minor that even law enforcement aren’t too bothered when they’re broken.
The purpose of this article is to highlight common pitfalls that the average Joe might encounter at least once in their lifetime. It is best to have connections with a reputable attorney in Midlothian TX so you always have someone professional to back you up in the most difficult of times.
Here are some minor reasons why some people get arrested;
1) Spitting on the ground
Ever felt like something bad (a fly?) got into your mouth while you were yawning – your immediate reaction must have been to promptly spit the nasty and invasive thing out before your body forcefully regurgitates your morning breakfast meal in an attempt to get rid of the fly. But hold on a minute, a nosy cop standing nearby notices you performing a little maintenance on your mouth – they find you guilty of having violated a very minor law but feel like enforcing it anyways just because they’re having a bad day.
The uniform clad gentleman fines you a couple of hundred dollars and handcuffs you all the way to jail where you spend some time behind bars. The police unfortunately (or fortunately) aren’t shy on enforcing the law where it is common place. States such as Kansas and Texas have ordinances in place criminalizing spitting on the sidewalk and other public places. The law itself can be weird to many folks simply because spitting is heavily rooted in US history and culture – it isn’t unusual for streets to be laden with mucus and phlegm overflowing with bacteria.
2) Publicly bad mouthing someone or something
Yes – freedom of speech does have its limits when it comes to a certain set of words deemed offensive by the state. You could face some serious jail time if the cops hear you mouthing one of these terribly offensive words. You can be rude to everyone on the street, even the cops – but when it comes to cursing, you could get arrested. It will then be up to the judge’s discretion how long to keep you jailed and what fines to charge you. Wesley Force from North Carolina was house arrested for 10 days and forced to wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure that he stayed in his confinement.
This law is a bit controversial and there is a very popular saying, “One man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric”.
Criminalizing littering on the streets is a very justifiable crime. Imagine if the entire population of the US starts polluting the streets with ice cream wrappers and tissue papers – wouldn’t this turn the entire country into one giant wasteland and make the landscape look uglier than it already is? The planet is undergoing an environmental catastrophe as it is, why subject it to more burden than what it’s already going through? Aren’t giant swathes of landfills enough to satiate our desire to pollute?
Millions of dollars of our tax dollars are being used by states to clean up the mess that the most inconsiderate individuals leave loitering by the side of the curb. We believe that this is one law that should definitely be enforced and strengthened with more stringent fines. The state of Florida currently can fine up to $50 for the crime of littering.
4) Connecting to a public, unsecured WiFi connection
The laws are pretty vague on this one and depending on who you cross paths with, could end up with you spending some jail time. The truth is that we’ve all been tempted to connect to these open WiFi connections. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act which was enacted in 1986 criminalizes the act of connecting to computers, Wi-Fi and other devices without the authorization of the owner.
Our smartphones also have the tendency to immediately hook up with the next available network, and without our knowledge can jump from one public network to another. This however is not a criminal activity since the law requires you to know that the connection was unauthorized. But we believe that this is rather vague wording – why would anyone admit that they knowingly connected to an unauthorized network if they were caught in the act of checking their email?
5) Driving without a seat belt
This is a trivial law, but one which can have lasting repercussions on human lives. If the police witness you behind the wheels without wearing your seatbelt, you could be fined and ticketed. We believe however that this should be enforced to the full extent of the law since a lot of casualties occur because of traffic accidents. In fact, the statistics point out that more than 4000 lives can be saved each year in the US if people just start wearing their seat belts more often. We believe that it is better for people to suffer a few minor fines for committing these infractions.
6) Using cell phones while driving
While driving is a very common activity which the majority of people are used to performing on a daily basis; using cell phones in the midst of this is considered a punishable crime by almost all states. This includes using GPS, texting and browsing the internet. There are many videos that have been created with the intent to warn the public about the dangers of using cell phones while driving. Entire families can get seriously injured or even killed if you lose control in the middle of the road.
Another minor law that should definitely be enforced.
7) Possessing medicine which is not prescribed to you
It is a criminal offense to possess any medicine without prescription which needs you to have proper prescription by a doctor. Despite this, however, more than half the prescription drugs in the US are frequently shared among friends and family members without knowledge of the offense. There is a reason why some medicines require you to get proper prescription from doctors – they’re not just tablets you can swallow to get rid of your headache, they have the ability to cause serious bodily harm if not taken as directed.
Most people tend to believe in DIY healthcare and trust everything they read on the internet. All the more reason why you should consult with an attorney in Midlothian TX.
Almost everyone needs to cross the street every once in a while to reach their destinations quicker. The act of crossing the streets reserved for vehicular traffic is known as jaywalking and is a punishable offense. Those who do get caught can be charged as much as $200. Most people regularly jaywalk and it is not practical to enforce this law, but the possibility of getting jailed is still there and we advise the reader to not break this law, no matter how tempted they might be.
Pedestrians are requested to obey traffic laws and not to cross intersections that may have a “Don’t Walk” sign. By disrupting traffic, you not only pose a danger to yourself but other people around you, which is one of the reasons why those caught guilty of the crime can face other charges such as reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.
While most of the laws we cited above are really insignificant in nature, violating them can have dangerous consequences for the individuals involved. It is important for you to get acquainted with the dos and don’ts of the legal side of things by regularly seeking counsel with an attorney in Midlothian TX