Someone once said, “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime”, but what happens when you didn’t know you were doing the crime? The average American unknowingly breaks at least three federal laws every day, so you’ve probably broken a few without even knowing that you did. This article lists a few of the laws that are commonly broken, and you will not be seeing anything about passing speed limits, pirating music, or drinking inappropriately. Here’s a list of all the laws you may not know you’re breaking.
- Creating a Fake Social Media Account
Most of the people who have social media accounts have created at least one account using a fake name, much like the people seen on MTV’s Catfish. What you might not know is that creating a fake account is illegal across all 50 states. Sec 66D of the IT Act states that “whoever, by means of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend up to three years…” Additionally, if you post pictures, songs or anything claimed as one’s own without the original owner’s permission, it is illegal.
- Starting a Snowball Fight
Snowball fights are a staple activity during the winter months, but you need to think twice before aiming a snowball at your friend. In cities like Wisconsin, Colorado, and Severance, throwing a snowball with the intent of hitting another person is illegal. Furthermore, throwing a snowball at an unsuspecting person is considered illegal in all states. In 2010, five New York natives were arrested for throwing a snowball at their friend. A few years later, a 13-year-old boy was arrested for throwing one at a police officer, so do yourself a favor by sticking to snowmen and snow angels.
- Idling Your Car
Idling one’s vehicle, which is defined as leaving the engine running while the vehicle is stationary, is illegal in many countries around the world. According to the UK Highway Code, “you must not leave a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.” Over in the US, many states have a specified time limit while others do not. In Pennsylvania for example, citizens are allowed to idle for 20 minutes (maximum) when the temperature is below 40 degrees. Other states have a $5,000 fine associated with the act as the Sustainability Department clearly states that idling creates unnecessary air pollution.
Quite a few people incorporate curse words into their vocabulary, but did you know that dropping the occasional F-bomb can land you in county jail? While the Constitution protects your First Amendment Right to freedom of speech, there are some exceptions to the rule. Curse words that incite violence or lawless acts are seen as illegal. Swearing that causes others to take notice is viewed as disturbing the peace and you can be sentenced to 30 days in jail if you are in Mississippi. In states like Virginia, “profane swearing” is considered a class 4 misdemeanor and is punishable by a $250 fine. Saying bad words in front of minors is considered disorderly conduct in Georgia and is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $1,000. Moral of the story… don’t swear.
- Not Discarding Your Gum Properly
Chewing gum is not illegal, although many people are calling on lawmakers to ban the wads of gum. In the meantime, those people should feel satisfied knowing that spitting out gum whether it is onto the street, the highway or in parks is illegal and offenders can face up to six months in jail after paying a $2,000 fine. Although there are many benefits to chewing gum, many people dislike the mess that it causes. Chewing is already banned in many schools in addition to some theme parks across the country.