30 Ridiculous Laws That Could Get You Arrested
Few people can claim they’ve never broken a law. For instance, who hasn’t at least once sped in their car, drank while underage or even tipped a cow or two? But here at Wall Street Insanity, we’ve uncovered some of the strangest laws on the books, that just might land you in jail if you’re not careful.
1. Did you know it’s technically illegal to sing the classic tune, “Happy Birthday to You” in a public place?
True story. Apparently the song is copyrighted, and, while it’s OK to sing in the privacy of the family home, you’d better pay up if you want to chime in at Chuck E. Cheese. Even the Girl Scouts were once asked to pay up for singing “Happy Birthday to You” around their campfires.
2. According to the United States Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, it’s illegal to use a fake name on the Internet.
Better watch out next time you try to set up a profile for Seymour Butts or Jack Hoff.
3. Be careful all you aspiring authors out there. Writing certain fictional stories can get you arrested in a variety of states.
In Kentucky, writing about a fictional military attack can result in a felony charge of making terrorist threats, and making up a story about a person becoming injured can get you 10 years in prison if you’re in Oklahoma.
4. Watch out where you take that Sharpie!
Possessing a permanent marker in public is completely illegal according to anti-graffiti laws in all sorts of state laws, including Florida, New York and California.
5. A Milwaukee man was fined $500 for swearing on a public bus back in 2010.
Poor guy just dropped the f-bomb and was busted by an undercover cop.
6. Don’t try to beat Santa to the punch if you’re in South Carolina.
Opening a Christmas present early without your parents’ permission can actually get you booked on petty larceny charges.
7. In Florida, you can get arrested just for farting in class.
One kid was dragged out of school in handcuffs because he “continually disrupted the classroom environment.”
8. Forget about getting detention for engaging in a cafeteria food fight.
Nowadays, kids can be put in jail for throwing cole slaw and vanilla pudding. Twenty-five Chicago students, as young as 11, were taken into custody and charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct for tossing a few Brussels sprouts at one another.
9. Make sure you keep up with watering your lawn if you live in Utah.
Believe it or not, an elderly woman was put in jail because her grass was brown. Forget that she happened to live in a desert, the city of Orem says dead grass is a crime!
10. Thailand adores its king, and nobody better insult him.
According to the Wall Street Journal, simply dropping a coin, which happens to bear the monarch’s likeness, can land you 15 years in prison!
11. If you’re in Japan, and you don’t happen to be of Japanese descent, you’d better not leave your ID at home.
Even if you’re taking a morning jog or just walking your dog, undercover police can stop you to check you have your passport of “gaijin card.” Failing to present it can land you 23 days in jail!
12. According to “Chickens May Not Cross The Road and Other Crazy (But True) Laws,” by Kathi Linz, it’s illegal to ride an ugly horse in Wilbur, Wash.
Makes you wonder which equines make the cut for Miss Washington.
13. Better not pitch a tent in Indiana, metaphorically speaking, that is.
Having a boner in public can get you hauled off to jail, according to “You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant: 101 Real Dumb Laws,” by Jeff Koon and Andy Powell.
14. They must be all for arranged marriages in Arkansas.
Flirting in Little Rock can land you 30 days in the clink, according to Linz in her book.
15. Better stock up on the Round Up.
In her book, “Whacky Laws, Weird Decisions, and Strange Statutes,” Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts tells us that growing dandelions in Pueblo, Colo. is totally illegal.
16. What’s that smell?
During cold weather, taking a bath more than once a month is banned in Lander, Wyo. And, says Lindsell-Roberts, children aren’t allowed to bathe all winter!
17. In you’re in Arizona, it’s legal to beat your wife.
You better not do it more than once a month or you might end up behind bars, according to Lindsell-Robert’s book.
18. Tibetan monks are known for their reincarnation antics.
According to Nathan Belofsky’s “The Book of Strange and Curious Legal Oddities,” it’s only legal for them to come back as a frog, camel or anything else if they first obtain a permit from a government agency
19. Apparently it’s illegal for a man to walk a dog in the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh.
The Saudi Islamic religious police fear men may use their animals as a way to pick up chicks.
20. In Turin, Italy, on the other hand, dog-walking is a must.
There, law dictates you must walk your dog at least three times a day. In fact, Turin’s animal-protection rulebook spans a full 20 pages.
21. Cutting down a cactus in Arizona can get you 25 years in prison.
Since the giant Saguaro cactus is now endangered thanks to all those kooks who like to shoot ‘em up, so the law has been passed to protect our spiny green friends.
22. Unless you have a permit, you’d better not take a picture of a rabbit in Wyoming between February and June.
Crazy as it sounds, it’s on the books. According to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Land Quality Division, the law is based on the “seasonal” importance in the annual cycle of our furry friends.
23. Lending your vacuum cleaner to your next-door-neighbor in Denver can you in serious trouble with the law.
No one seems to know the exact origins of the statute, but it surely cuts down on the spread of bed bugs.
24. Changing the clothes on a mannequin without first closing the blinds is illegal in Georgia.
Egad! What might the children see otherwise?
25. Better watch your language in Virginia.
One of the state’s prudish “blue” laws states that any person found using “profane, threatening or indecent language over public airways or by other methods” is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
26. According to Divine Caroline, if you’re walking your dog in Temperance, Miss., you better make sure he has his diaper on!
Hey, at least it lightens up your poop scooping duties.
27. Some laws are so ludicrous, it’s almost impossible to imagine what their original purpose could have been.
For example, in Massachusetts, it’s actually illegal to drive with a gorilla in the back seat of the car. Apparently it’s OK if King Kong sits in the front.
28. The waxing industry must be booming in New Mexico.
In Carrizozo, it’s illegal for a woman to appear unshaven in public. Then again, maybe we can all appreciate that one.
29. American Idol better hold off on holding auditions in North Carolina, where it’s illegal to sing off-key.
While visiting the Tarheel State, you should also avoid using an elephant to plow a cotton field.
30. If you happen to be lactose intolerant, better steer clear of Utah.
It’s actually against the law there to NOT drink milk.