14 Laws You’ve Broken WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING!


14 Laws You’ve Broken Without Even Knowing 14. Throwing Out An Old Tenant’s Mail
If you’ve ever lived in an apartment, especially in a large city, you know first hand how frustrating
it can be to constantly receive mail meant for previous tenants. You can receive mail not meant for you virtually
every day if you live in an area with a high turnover rate for residency, and this means
that the mail can really pile up. But before you decide to toss that magazine
subscription renewal letter for the guy who lived there before you, you might want to
brush up on your federal mail handling laws. It’s actually a pretty big deal to throw
mail away – you can end up facing up to 5 years in prison and have a felony on your
record for the rest of your life. 13. Making Bets With Friends
Most people forget that gambling is illegal in the vast majority of the United States. Casinos and betting venues like horse racetracks
are an exception to the law, but virtually all other forms of gambling are illegal. This means that when you made that bet with
your buddy about who was going to win the Super Bowl and put up a cash prize, you were
technically breaking the law. Although law enforcement rarely chooses to
shut down this kind of gambling unless it’s on a large scale or operating in a predatory
fashion, don’t expect the courts to side with you when your buddy decides not to pay
up. 12. Stickers On The Back Window Of Your Car
Do you like football? If so, you might have a big sticker or decal
showing off the logo of your favorite sports team on the back window of your car. Or maybe you use that space to memorialize
a passed loved one. Or you might even have a political message
there. No matter your reasoning though, most states
have laws prohibiting you from having stickers on your rear window. This is mainly to ensure that you can keep
an eye on what’s happening behind you, as well as to allow law enforcement to see you
if they’re behind you. These are rarely enforced, but having a sticker
there can be an easy reason for a cop to pull you over. 11. Bathing Two Babies At Once
If you live in California, specifically in Los Angeles, and you happen to also be a parent
of multiple children, pay attention. Your time-saving technique of plopping both
of those puke and poop machines into the same tub for bath time is actually against the
law. This is a law related to some of the older,
somewhat misguided legislation against things related to sex, and we seriously doubt if
you’re going to get in trouble any time soon for breaking it. 10. Being Drunk…In A Bar
As crazy as it may seem, it’s technically illegal to be drunk just about anywhere but
your own home. This actually includes bars and places where
you go specifically to drink, though the rules are less enforced there. The trouble starts when you become intoxicated
enough to cause a problem to the establishment or with other patrons, at which point you
can either be thrown out or even have the police called on you. If the latter happens, you can expect to spend
a night in the drunk tank. Although this has been in the news recently
due to Alaska stepping up enforcement of public intoxication laws, most states have policies
like this. In other places, concerns have been raised
that laws such as this allow cops to pick and choose which people they arrest, and that
they may be using it as a legal loophole for racist arrests. 9. Singing Happy Birthday In Public
Some pieces of media are so ubiquitous in our culture that virtually everyone, no matter
how old or young, knows them. This is certainly the case for a song as famous
as Happy Birthday, which is recited potentially millions of times each and every day. But did you know that a company owns the rights
to that song, and if you sing it in front of enough people, you’re technically breaking
the law? It’s true – the song is owned by Warner
Music Group, and they collect about $2 million in royalties each and every year. In fact, the main reason most restaurant chains
have their own birthday songs to sing to customers is to avoid having to pay a licensing fee
to Warner. If you think it’s unlikely Warner would
actually go after a restaurant for performing it, consider that they went after the Girl
Scouts for singing it on their camping trips. 8. Using A Fake Name Online
Back to the strange laws we have as a result of the government really having no idea what
the internet is or how to use it, it’s technically illegal to use a fake name online. This comes as a result of the law which makes
it a crime to break the terms of service of a website. Since virtually every major website prohibits
users from intentionally using a fake identity, doing so can get you in hot water. In 2008, a MySpace user was charged with a
felony for doing this very thing. Although many aspects of online law are likely
to undergo some major revisions in the near future, most lawmakers are firmly behind this
one, so be careful with those troll accounts. 7. Home Improvement On A Sunday
Another holdover from when religious law was the actual law in many places, it’s still
considered illegal to make an inordinate amount of noise on a Sunday, even on your own property. These laws typically discuss home improvement
or construction in specific, since tool use and building can be an annoyance to neighbors. Although you can usually get away with this
nowadays, if you have a neighbor who dislikes you, just hope they don’t know that you
might be breaking the law when you decide to build that new kitchen table on your driveway
this weekend. 6. Jaywalking
As far as conspiracy theories go, we’re gonna bet you haven’t spent much time thinking
about the massive cover-up which is the true reason why Jaywalking is illegal. But let’s start at the beginning – it seems
crazy to people from many other parts of the world, but crossing the street outside of
a crosswalk, even if there is no traffic in sight, is illegal in pretty much all of the
United States. Though these laws ostensibly relate to safety,
the real reason is a lot weirder. In the early 20th century, when cars were
finally getting into the hands of the average consumer, the roads were still filled with
people walking around. They weren’t seen as reserved strictly for
cars yet. When car manufacturers realized that they’d
already sold most of the cars they were likely to sell, the conspired to get the people out
of the road so that they could pave the way for faster cars. These faster cars could be sold to people
who’d already bought a car as an upgrade. What did they do to get the people to stay
on the sidewalks? Lobbied for anti-jaywalking laws. 5. Owning A Permanent Marker
When you were a teen, you might have been like hundreds of thousands of other misguided
youths who took music a little too seriously and let your emotions take hold of you a little
too often. This might have meant that you liked to carry
around permanent markers, whether you used them to draw on yourself, your backpack, or
even the bathroom stall. But did you know that you were doing something
illegal? Not just the drawing on the wall part – but
actually owning the marker in the first place. In many US states, it’s straight up illegal
for a minor to own a permanent marker. This was exemplified in 2010 when a 13 year
old student in Oklahoma City was arrested for being in possession of a Sharpie. 4. Cycling Hard In The United Kingdom
In the UK bike riding is a pretty popular means of transportation, and it’s not hard
to see why. It’s compact, easy to do, much cheaper than
a car, and it’s good for your health. But if you’ve ever woken up late, you know
how terrible it can be to not be able to get up to automobile speeds on your bike. Before you try to prove us wrong though, keep
in mind that in the UK, “wanton or furious riding” of your bicycle is prohibited strictly. Unlike other weird laws, this one is not just
on the books – it’s enforced. It’s seen as a safety hazard both to yourself
and others, since cyclists can’t stop or maneuver as easily as motorized vehicles. In 2013, a UK man was charged under this very
law after he failed to maintain control of his bike and crashed into a minor. 3. Texting While Driving
It can be very tempting to pick up your phone and shoot off a quick message while you wait
in traffic, or even while you’re on the highway and everyone is moving at the same
speed. However, this is extremely dangerous both
to yourself and the drivers around you. Because of this, virtually every state is
enacting laws to prevent texting while driving, even when the car is at a stop light. Keep this in mind when you’re out on the
road – there can be some harsh penalties including fines, revocation of your license, and even
jail time. It’s a much better idea to either pull over
or just wait. 2. Writing “Obscene” Material
If you really were the kind of angsty teen we talked about above, there’s a good chance
you wrote some poetry at some point. Depending on your particular level of angst,
you might have even written some dark verses about any variety of things, from hypothetical
violent rampages to suicidal thoughts meant to draw some attention. But did you know that you were breaking obscenity
laws when you did that? It’s true – a lot of states in the USA have
some weird holdover laws from when religion held a lot more power, and writing material
which others might find to be obscene can land you in hot water in those states. 1. Connecting To An Open WiFi Network
Computers and the internet are one area where the age of our legal system is really beginning
to show. Many of our laws and legal frameworks were
simply created too long ago to be applicable to the internet, and as a result we have some
very strange laws surrounding what you can do on electronic devices and the internet
in general. For instance, current laws prohibit a person
from gaining unauthorized access to a system, even if that system is left open. Sounds good, right? Just because you leave your front door open
doesn’t mean you want people to steal things, so why should computers be different? Well, problems arise when you realize that
this law even applies to joining a public WiFi network. A Michigan man was arrested and fined $400
for connecting to a cafe’s WiFi from his car. Since he was not a customer, he did not have
the cafe’s permission and was therefore illegally accessing their network.

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