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Looking at Crazy Laws that Are Also Scary Laws!

October 31, 2015

Any level-headed citizen tends to think of the law as a means to protect the people and maintain a functioning society, but there are some laws on the books that may be a bit surprising and counterintuitive in terms of preserving the greater good. Many of these laws are the result of Supreme Court decisions made decades ago that have simply never been overturned. As a consequence, it is possible to suffer a strange and unfortunate fate that may involve some of the following scary situations.

Eminent domain

It’s a terrifying reality that any home or business owner at any given time can be asked, or rather forced, to vacate their property and sell it to the highest bidder. Or, more realistically, the only bidder offering a non-negotiable price for the property. While this often takes place to improve and expand public lands, the laws of eminent domain actually go a step further and allow corporations to step in and purchase whatever land they seek, even if people already live and do business there. A 2005 Supreme Court ruling determined that local governments can essentially sell off land to any corporation that demands it so long as the price is right. Unfortunately, the profits are not often passed along to property owners.

Racial imprisonment

Among the darker chapters in American history is the internment of Japanese-American citizens during WWII, which took place for fear of Japanese espionage, which famously did not occur at any point during the war. In the case of Korematsu v. United States, it was determined that an entire race of American citizens could be imprisoned should they pose a legitimate threat to national security. The law has never been taken off the books, but it has actually been used to influence more positive laws that discourage discrimination, such as desegregation of schools.

Toxic waste dumping

Despite the Clean Water Act, which intended to protect drinking water from the dumping of toxic waste in fresh water sources by mining companies, it is still perfectly legal to dump toxic waste when it is given the right label. One huge loophole that exists in this act is states that “fill material” can be dumped into fresh water areas to create a damn, and, as history has demonstrated in Kensington, Alaska, “fill material” can mean just about anything—including poisonous toxic waste.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?

ridiculouslaws

Don’t Mess with Texas’s Crazy Laws!

October 28, 2015

Texas has a reputation for being set in its ways, which may explain why the state has its fair share of strange laws that could bring up some rather odd court cases. For example, the state of Texas prohibits shooting a buffalo from the second story of a hotel. This oddly specific law is just one of many that exists in the state, proving that there are many different ways one might attempt to mess with Texas. Read on for a closer look at the quirky laws that exist in the Lone Star State.

The Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas

If you have a quest for knowledge in the state of Texas, you’d better reach for the World Book, because the Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in the state. Why you ask? The encyclopedia contains a formula for making beer at home, which, incidentally is not illegal so long as you keep the yield of your batch under 200 gallons. When drinking beer, be careful how frequently you sip, because drinking more than 3 sips of beer at a time while standing is also prohibited by state law.

The state flower has an official song

You probably know that every state has an official flower, insignia, flag, and coat of arms, but lawmakers may have too much time on their hands when they start declaring official mushrooms, microbes, dinosaurs, tartans, cooking implements, and firearms of the state. Texas took this one step further by giving the state flower, the bluebonnet, an official song of the same name. In case you were wondering, the officially preferred cooking implement of the state of Texas is the Dutch oven, which is frequently used to fire up batches of the state dish, chili con carne.

Criminals must declare their intent to commit crimes

In an effort to reduce crime in the state, a law was passed requiring criminals to give their victims 24 hours’ notice of their intent to commit a crime. So far, it seems that the law has not effectively cut down crime rates in the state of Texas.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?

ridiculouslaws

DUI and Marijuana

October 25, 2015

DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” This offense refers to individuals charged with operating a motor vehicle while suffering impairment related to a chemical drug, including alcohol and many types of prescription medications. In the state of Arizona, marijuana is a tightly-regulated drug legal only for medical purposes; however, a DUI issued for driving under the influence of medical marijuana may be dismissed, depending on your situation and the type of evidence cited during your case.

Understanding DUIs

Arizona law states that it is unlawful for an individual to control a vehicle while a drug or its metabolite is in their system. Metabolites are chemicals created by the body as it metabolizes a food or substance, including drugs and alcohol. Because they are the direct results of drug ingestion, metabolites are often used as tracers of certain drugs, even if the actual drug itself is no longer present in the body. Blood, urine, and breath tests may be used in cases of traffic stops determine whether a given drug or its metabolite is present in the body at the time of the stop.

Marijuana and DUIs

As marijuana is metabolized by the body, two different metabolites are created, which can be identified via blood and urine tests. While one of these metabolites is known to cause impairment, the other does not, but can remain in the body for several weeks following marijuana use. Although the wording of Arizona law regarding DUIs and marijuana is somewhat ambiguous, an Arizona Supreme Court ruling in 2014 clarified the issue, determining that the presence of the long-term non-psychoactive marijuana metabolite in the blood does not indicate impairment under DUI law.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Tucson, Janet Altshuler can help. Our practice offers experienced advice and legal defense in DUI and drug possession cases. Please visit our website or call us at (520) 247-1789 or toll-free at (866) 377-7808 to speak with a criminal defense attorney today or request a free consultation.

What is Statutory Rape?

October 21, 2015

Each state in the United States observes a legal age of consent. Individuals above this age are considered able to legally consent to sexual activities. When an individual that has not yet reached the age of consent engages in sexual activities with a party above the age of consent, the older party may be charged with statutory rape, which is a serious sex crime.

Understanding Statutory Rape

Rape is a serious criminal offense that constitutes the forcing of an individual to engage in non-consensual sexual activities via physical force, threat, or other duress. Statutory rape, however, encompasses any sexual activity, consensual or non-consensual, that includes an individual below the age of consent. Thus, a person may be charged with statutory rape even if a minor engaged in sexual acts willingly or no type of force or duress was involved. In this case, the charge of rape refers to the inability of a minor to give consent for sex under the law. If a minor is forced or coerced into sexual activities, the offending individual may be charged with aggravated rape or child molestation, rather than statutory rape.

Understanding Statutory Rape in Arizona

Statutory rape charges are made based on state laws. In Arizona, the age of consent is 18. Thus, any sexual relationship with an individual less than 18 years of age may carry with it a charge of statutory rape. Arizona law considers statutory rape a felony, with sentencing dependent upon the age of the parties involved and the type of sexual interactions that occurred. The penalties for statutory rape in Arizona include fines, time spent in prison, or a combination of these two punishments; repeat offenders face greater penalties for subsequent convictions.

The Tucson law office of Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law is available to provide the help you need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach us by calling (520) 247-1789 or (866) 377-7808 (toll-free) to discuss your legal needs. We also invite you to stop by our website for more information about firm or to read through our other informative blog articles.

You May Not Be Crazy, But These Laws Sure Are!

September 30, 2015

Although the vast majority of state laws are put in place to protect residents, some state laws exist that make little sense. Many silly or crazy state laws are simply outdated, but some are so ridiculous that it’s not clear how or why they were ever enacted in the first place. Crazy laws can be found in every state in the union; while they are generally not enforced, these laws technically remain in effect until they are overturned.

Nevada’s Liquor Law

In Nyala, Nevada, there is a legal limitation to the number of people for whom a man may purchase drinks. The letter of the law makes it illegal for a man to buy drinks for more than three other people, not including himself, at any one time during a single day.

Florida’s Gator Law

One of the most famous crazy state laws belongs to Florida. In Florida, it is illegal to tie an alligator to a fire hydrant. Although this law gained notice through its reference to alligators, the actual letter of the law states that fire hydrants may not be blocked in any way, including tying an alligator or any other animal to the hydrant.  

Tennessee’s Password Law

In Tennessee, a recent law made it illegal for residents to share their Netflix password with others. While this law was created in an attempt to prevent the theft and illegal sale of entertainment site and service passwords, the actual letter of the law technically allows it to be used against friends and families who share a single account.

Although these crazy state laws are not enforced, most state laws play an important role in determining criminal activity and its punishment. Attorney Janet Altschuler is here to provide legal counsel and representation if you have been charged with a crime in Tucson. You can find out more about Attorney Altschuler and why you should hire a criminal defense attorney for help on our website or by calling (520) 829-1741; you can also reach our toll-free number at (866) 377-7808.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?

ridiculouslaws

Examples of Juvenile Crime Charges

September 20, 2015

Juvenile crimes are crimes committed by an individual aged eight or older but less than 18 years of age in Arizona. Crimes committed by minors are often treated differently than adult crimes, but should still be considered a serious situation. If your child has been accused of a juvenile crime, it’s important to contact a competent criminal defense attorney to help you handle the situation and prevent or lessen the charges your child may face.  

Juvenile Weapons Possession

Arizona state law restricts the purchase or creation and possession of weapons under certain circumstances. Juveniles can be charged with illegal weapons possession if they are discovered with a weapon in restricted or specified locations. Illegal weapons can include firearms, exploding ammunition, and switchblades, as well as makeshift weapons of many types.

Theft or Shoplifting

Theft and shoplifting are common juvenile criminal charges that carry with them a variety of penalties, depending on the value of the materials stolen and the location from which they were taken. The penalties for these crimes can range from release into parental custody for punishment to confinement in a juvenile detention facility and legal restitution for the goods that were stolen.

Vandalism

Vandalism and property destruction are considered criminal offenses that involve the intentional destruction of another’s property. In the majority of cases, vandalism charges are treated identically for both children and adults, although the conviction and punishment of a minor is handled by the juvenile justice system. The penalties for vandalism are similar to those for theft, and include restitution, fines, probation, and detention.  

A criminal conviction can affect your child for many years to come—Attorney Janet Altschuler has the experience and dedication necessary to defend your child’s rights in juvenile court. Please click through our website to find out more about our criminal defense services in Tucson, or call (520) 247-1789 (local) or (866) 377-7808 (toll-free).

Visiting Minnesota? Check Out These Crazy State Laws!

September 20, 2015

Every state in the United States has crazy state laws that are outdated, useless, or simply comical. The state of Minnesota is no exception; although several of the state’s “craziest” laws have been proven fictitious, there are still several authentic strange state laws that have remained in effect in both state and local legislation. Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the crazy laws you might encounter when visiting the state of Minnesota.

Bingo Limits

Charitable gambling has been legal in the state of Minnesota since 1945. However, the state laws originally in place to regulate such gambling restricted nursing homes and senior centers to only two days of bingo per week. Furthermore, individuals visiting friends or family in nursing homes and senior centers were prohibited from participating in bingo events. This crazy state law remained in effect until it was recently overturned this year.

Public Drunkenness

Although most crazy laws appear to be historical in nature, a law enacted as recently as 2010 states that “No person may be charged with or convicted of the offense of drunkenness or public drunkenness.” Thus, public drunkenness is not considered a punishable offense of any sort in Minnesota.

Mosquito Nuisances

Mosquitoes are a common and widespread nuisance in much of the United States. In Minnesota, state law declares that areas where mosquitoes are incubated or hatched are considered a “public nuisance” and may be subject to governmental pest abatement as overseen by an established mosquito abatement board.

Despite the fact that these crazy state laws exist, the vast majority of state laws remain important and relevant in modern times. If you have legal questions about criminal charges you are facing in Arizona, Tucson Attorney Janet Altschuler can help—you can reach our law firm by calling (520) 829-1741, or contact us or toll-free at (866) 377-7808. You’ll also find more information about our criminal defense services when you visit us on the web.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?

ridiculouslaws

What You Should Know About Medical Marijuana Laws in Arizona

September 15, 2015

The marijuana plant contains chemicals called cannabinoids, which have been proven effective in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions and the symptoms they cause. In the state of Arizona, the possession of marijuana for medical purposes is legal under certain circumstances. Understanding medical marijuana laws in Arizona and how they may affect you can help you prevent an erroneous charge of drug possession.

Possession Purposes and Limits

Arizona state law limits the amount of medical marijuana an individual may possess at any given time, as well as restricts the medical conditions for which it may be used. An individual may legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana at one time. The use of medical marijuana is approved for qualifying conditions that include Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Crohn’s disease, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain syndromes, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV and AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizures, nausea, and persistent muscle spasms.

Marijuana Dispensation and Cultivation

In addition to restricting the use of medical marijuana, Arizona state law also governs the dispensation and cultivation of this drug. Medical marijuana may be dispensed by state-licensed dispensary facilities on a not-for-profit basis. Patients who live more than 25 miles from the nearest state-licensed dispensary are authorized to cultivate marijuana at home for medical purposes. Home cultivation of medical marijuana is limited to 12 or fewer plants that are kept in an “enclosed, locked facility” to prevent unauthorized or illegal access.

A drug possession charge or conviction can negatively affect your life in many ways. If you are facing a drug possession charge in Tucson, Attorney Janet Altschuler is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide the help you need. You can reach our law firm to schedule an appointment by calling (520) 247-1789 or our toll-free line at (866) 377-7808

What Drivers Should Do When Pulled Over on Suspicion of DUI

August 31, 2015

If arrested for a DUI in Arizona, you are required to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test because of Arizona’s implied consent law. According to Arizona law, if the arresting officer has reasonable grounds to believe you are driving while under the influence, you consent to taking a chemical test. Additionally, the arresting officer gets to choose which test you take.

Submitting to the test

Even if you aren’t driving, you may be required to submit to a chemical test. In fact, an officer can arrest you for suspicion of DUI, so long as you were in actual, physical control of the vehicle. This generally means you have the ability to make the car move. For example, if you are under the influence and pull over to sleep in your car, you may be charged with DUI if you leave the motor running to keep the air conditioning on. If you refuse the test, the officer will require you to surrender your license and will file a report for a license suspension up to twelve months.  

Refusing the test

Though the officer will take your license for refusing a chemical test, you will receive a temporary driving permit good for fifteen days. The officer will then submit a sworn report explaining that there were reasonable grounds to believe you were driving under the influence. If this was your first refusal, then your license suspension will only last a year.

Understanding the consequences

Refusing a blood, breath or urine test is unlikely to help you when arrested for a DUI. However, in Arizona, the consequences of refusal are milder than those for a DUI conviction, which include jail time and fines. In fact, you may be found guilty for a DUI even if the state doesn’t have proof your BAC was more than 0.08 percent.

Attorney Janet Altschuler can handle your Arizona criminal defense from start to finish. We offer careful guidance from an advocate you can trust. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call (520) 829-1741.

Crazy Laws: Weirdly Illegal Acts in Arizona

August 13, 2015

Like many strange laws still on the books in Arizona, you can face criminal charges for cutting down a cactus. Arizona’s history dates back hundreds of years to the days of cowboys, and some of the laws have remained through the years. For example, it’s still illegal for cowboys to wear spurs inside a hotel lobby.

Refuse a glass of water

Perhaps one of Arizona’s most popular urban legends is that it is illegal to refuse someone a glass of water. Though everyone who grows up in Arizona considers this rumor to be true, no one can point to the governing statute. Indeed, there are plenty of Arizona laws regulating water. However, no laws referencing providing someone a class of water.

Protect yourself with the same weapon

If a criminal or burglar attacks you in Arizona, you may only protect yourself with the same weapon that he or she possesses—or so the legend goes. In reality, it’s difficult for Arizonans to believe this legend, as there are frequently stories of residents shooting home intruders. In fact, there are many situations in which you can shoot a burglar armed with nothing. This legendary law is a poor interpretation of the use-of-force continuum, which isn’t really a law in Arizona.

Six girls in a house

Another misconception of Arizona laws is that Maricopa County residents can’t have more than six girls live in a single house. This would make sorority houses around the county unlawful. If you familiarize yourself with Maricopa County zoning ordinances, you will find they don’t make any such claim.

Hunt camel

Though there is a story involving the law prohibiting camel hunting, there really isn’t such a law. However, any camel you do find in Arizona likely belongs to a circus or zoo. As a result, you should think twice before hunting said camel, even if it’s not technically illegal.

Attorney Janet Altschuler handles all types of criminal cases, including domestic violence, drunk driving and drug charges. Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Tucson, Attorney Altschuler can help. You can reach us by calling (520) 829-1741.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?

ridiculouslaws