Some crimes are obvious. For example, if you are speeding, you know you’re breaking the law. You definitely know that you shouldn’t injure or murder someone else.
Some crimes are ridiculous. The internet is full of lists that can tell you all the silly crimes that are on the books that the authorities no longer pay attention to. For example, did you know it’s illegal to collect seaweed at night in New Hampshire?
The laws you should be paying attention to are the ones that you may not know, but they are still likely to be charged as a crime.
1. False Accusations
Sex crimes are serious. The least severe crimes carry a minimum sentence of a year in prison. You probably already know that things like rape and molestation are considered very seriously by the law, but so are false accusations.
In the climate of the Me Too movement, more of these allegations are coming out than ever before. That’s a good thing when the allegations are fair and correct. Unfortunately, some people like to claim they were victims of assault to get attention, to get back at someone, or for other reasons when no assault actually occurred.
You can be charged of falsely accusing another person of sexual assault. Depending on the case, and whether or not that person was jailed, you could pay damages or end up in jail yourself.
2. Yes May Not Mean Yes
Consenting to sexual relations is important. Without the other party saying “yes” you could open yourself up to allegations of sexual assault. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as hearing “yes” from another person.
There are cases when a “yes” is not actually a “yes”. Even if the other person consented, you could still be charged with a crime if they:
- Have a mental illness
- Are mentally disabled or incapacitated
- Are underage
- Are drunk
- Are high on drugs
In addition, the type of activity should be considered. For example, the other party may consent to protected sex. If you purposefully claim to take birth control, but don’t, or you slip off a condom in the middle of the act, you could still be charged with a crime.
3. Being Naked in Your Own Home
You probably know that it’s against the law to be naked in a public place. Indecent exposure can bring with it a surprisingly harsh sentence, especially if private parts were revealed to children. However, you could also be charged for being naked in your own home.
There are some conditions that have to be met. You have to be naked in front of a window where other people can see you. In addition, you probably won’t be charged if it was really an accident. However, if you receive a warning and the authorities are called back out to your home, you could find yourself in jail.
That’s not all! You should think twice about getting hot and heavy in your car. If you’re in a public parking lot and someone sees you, the cops might come knocking on the window.
4. Hosting a Loud Party
It’s normal for cops to check in on loud house parties, but you might not know that you could be charged. If you continually ignore warnings and your neighbors continue to call in your behavior, you could be charged with disturbing the peace.
In addition, if the cops are called and enter your property, they could uncover other illegal activities, like drug use or underage drinking, that could get you into serious trouble if they’re partying at your house when caught, regardless of whether or not you approve of their behavior.
5. Riding a Bicycle While Drunk
You may think you’re being safe if you ride your bike home from the bar, but you could still be pulled over. Many states don’t specify whether the vehicle being operated has to be motorized or not, which means a cop can still ask you to stop. If it’s determined that you are over the legal limit, you could find yourself in jail.
Walking is better, but cops can still stop you if it’s clear you’re a danger to yourself or others. It really is best to find a safe, sober ride at the end of the night.
Don’t find yourself in jail or paying a huge fine because you were charged with a crime that you didn’t even know about. Knowing these ridiculous crimes exist will hopefully help keep you out of trouble now and in the future.