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Could you break the law without even knowing it?

Given the vastness of the current criminal law system, any average person could violate any number of laws — often without realizing it.

The complexity of our legal system has led to charges for more than one unwitting soul over the years.

Here are 10 laws that you could be breaking the law right now

According to Readers Digest, there are many things we do that most people aren’t aware are illegal — or, at least, don’t think they could be prosecuted for doing:

  1. Using someone else’s unlocked, or open WiFi: Often illegal and almost always against service plans and contracts with Internet Service Providers (ISP).
  2. Jaywalking: That crosswalk in the distant intersection looks a million miles away, while the destination is right across the street.
  3. Copyright: Music, movies, books, games, etc., are commonly copied and shared among friends and family. Even buying copies from a garage sale is illegal.   
  4. Gambling: Poker night, BINGO, sports “squares,” all may be fun, but also potentially illegal. 
  5. Driver License: Failing to update the mailing address after a move, can be a legal offense in some states. 
  6. Other permits and licenses: Did you know some states require a dog license for your pet? There are permits and licenses for everything from fishing to cemetery manager. 
  7. Postal system: Throwing out the previous resident’s junk-mail? It is a federal crime that carries a felony charge. We are supposed to write “return to sender” on it and replace it in the mailbox.     
  8. Littering: Speaking of junk mail, don’t let any accidentally fall on the ground as you juggle keys and groceries while unlocking the front door.
  9. Prescription medication: We have been taught since childhood to share, but not with your prescription meds! Just giving away one pill to your friend could be a felony in some states. 
  10. Traffic laws: Both moving and parking violations seem to be lurking around every corner. Using a cellphone while driving and seat belt laws are popular offenses.

Whatever criminal charges you face, a solid defense is what is needed. Since the number of laws is not appearing to decrease, it is fundamentally important to know your rights and what to do when you’re already in trouble. An experienced advocate can tell you more.

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