What laws do non-criminals commonly break?
January 16, 2007 7:52 AM Subscribe
What are some laws that people break often without thinking about it or that it would be easy to break without realizing you're committing a crime?
posted by decathecting to Law & Government (56 answers total)
I'm writing a speech about the rule of law, and I want to point out to my audience that having a lot of laws on the books that are commonly broken or that outlaw things many people do routinely can undermine respect for the rule of law. To that end, I'm trying to demonstrate that a lot of otherwise law-abiding people either unknowingly or unthinkingly become "criminals" by engaging in common behavior that is illegal, but that they don't think is wrong. Examples might include:
- laws criminalizing possession of small amounts of common drugs like marijuana
- underage drinking laws
- laws forbidding certain common sexual practices (in some jurisdictions, oral sex is still illegal, and I'd bet that a lot of people there don't know that they're breaking the law)
- speed limits (especially where such limits are set artificially low to generate ticket revenue for the city or state)
What are some other examples of laws that are commonly broken, either on purpose or unknowingly, because the people breaking them (and possibly the majority of people in the society) don't think that the behavior they criminalize is wrong?