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Spending More Than 30 Days on a Boat in Georgia: ILLEGAL

December 31, 2014

People find a lot of creative ways to live. Some people live on the open road, while others build themselves extraordinary homes. Have you ever heard of the old woman who lived in the shoe? Though there are a million different ways to live in the State of Georgia, one way has been expressly forbidden: living on a boat.

In 1992, the Georgia legislature made it illegal to spend more than 30 days on a boat in one calendar year. Run-down floating houses along the Altamaha River were the impetus of this legislation; residents found these houseboats ugly and were concerned about their effect on the environment.

For years after its passage, the live-aboard law made a lot of boat enthusiasts upset. It was especially tough for boaters from Florida who sailed north to escape hurricanes. Many of these people sailed straight through to South Carolina, where there were no such live-aboard restrictions.

Also, there was the issue of how to enforce this law. Would police officers have to watch all boats and make sure their owners got off within 30 days? Even if Georgia had the greatest police force on the planet, they probably wouldn’t dedicate precious resources to enforcing such a benign misdemeanor.

Because of this silly law, many people in the Southeast began to see Georgia as an unfriendly place for boaters. In 2011, the Georgia legislature eventually bowed to pressure from boating enthusiasts and relaxed the law to 90 days. While it’s a step in the right direction, you still can’t build that Chattahoochee River palace you were dreaming of.

Though it’s fun to laugh at other states, Arizona has plenty of its own questionable laws. If you believe you have been unjustly charged with a crime, consider enlisting the help of Janet Altschuler, a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tucson.

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?


North Dakota, Pretzels, and Beer: Yes, These Things Are Somehow Connected

December 29, 2014

As an American, you’re free to have whatever food and drink combination you want. If you so choose, you can have red meat and Kool-Aid, Diet Coke and goat cheese, or orange juice and pickles. However, there’s one food and drink combination that’s forbidden in the state of North Dakota: beer and pretzels. Or so the legend goes.

Though this “crime” may be fun to discuss at dinner parties (especially those that serve beer and pretzels), North Dakota’s supposed ban on beer and pretzels is actually a false interpretation of the state’s statutes. Over time, people have sprinkled this falsehood throughout the internet like salt on a pretzel.

In North Dakota, as in most other states, it’s illegal for people under the age of 21 to enter establishments that sell alcohol. However, a minor can eat at a place that serves alcohol in a separate room or makes more money from food than alcohol. Since bars do not typically have separate areas for food, some people assume that food—including pretzels—cannot be served in such establishments.

This is, of course, ridiculous; denying food to inebriated individuals is much more dangerous than mixing beer and pretzels. Unless you have high blood pressure, in which case you should probably cut down on sodium.

The next time you have a beer at a North Dakota bar, go ahead and order a bowl of pretzels—you won’t end up in jail. You could covertly whisper your order to the bartender if you wish, but you’ll likely get a strange look with your pretzels.

If you ever face more substantial charges, set up an appointment with Tucson criminal defense attorney Janet Altschuler. Janet Altschuler has over 17 years of experience defending Tucson clients, and can help you face your charges head on.

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?


You Can’t Sell Your Children in Florida…the Most Obvious Law Ever

December 20, 2014

Parenthood is hard. After months or years of sleepless nights, some parents may daydream about the disappearance of their children. New parents might casually joke about selling their children on the black market and fetching enough money for a lengthy jaunt to Barbados. Unfortunately for these enterprising parents, selling children is illegal.

Though selling children is already illegal under federal law, Florida lawmakers felt the need to include it in the state’s statues as well. It’s a good thing they did! Otherwise, parents would probably sell their children all the time! Florida would likely be peppered with child department stores and drive-thru child dispensaries. The shopping channel would have late night infomercials that offer three children for the price of one if you call in the next seven minutes! Except—wait a minute—selling children is already a federal crime. Never mind—none of that would happen.

Like most parents, you love your children unconditionally. Though they may throw tantrums, get in trouble at school, and refuse to eat their vegetables, they’re still the most precious things in the world to you. You may find the existence of such a common-sense law insulting or at least baffling—especially since there’s already a federal law that says almost exactly the same thing.

This is one of those laws that seems obvious and unnecessary at first glance; however, Florida’s probably better off with this law on the books. When parenting gets tough, parents need to know that there’s no loophole when it comes to selling children—even if they’re being very unruly.

If you find yourself in trouble with the law in the Tucson area, turn to criminal defense attorney Janet Altschuler. Having an experienced attorney by your side can greatly increase your chances of clearing your name in court.

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?


Don’t Let Your Dog Pursue a Bear or Bobcat in California- it’s Illegal!

December 10, 2014

Hunting has a long tradition in the United States. A good dog and a trusty rifle were especially important for taming the California frontier during the 19th century. However, most people agree that modern-day California is civilized—even despite the wild antics of some Hollywood celebrities. As a result, some old hunting practices have been deemed unnecessary and even cruel.

On January 1, 2013, it became illegal for Californians to hunt bears and bobcats with the aid of dogs. The idea is that hunting large ferocious mammals in this way is cruel to both the dogs and the animals being hunted. However, many hunters insist that hunting with dogs is an ancient tradition that is actually more humane than the circumstances large mammals endure in the wild.

Though it’s now illegal to hunt bears with the assistance of dogs, bear hunting without dogs is still legal, and some would say necessary. California allows hunters to harvest a total of 1,700 black bears each year to help control the population. Bobcat hunting in California is similarly regulated. Individual hunters can hunt no more than five bobcats per season, which runs from October 15 through February 28.

If you’re planning to hunt bears or bobcats in California, leave your pooch at home. Though it may be tempting to relive the ancient tradition of hunting with a hound, doing so may expose your dog to injury or yourself to persecution. If your best friend is feeling sad about missing the hunt, you can always save him a piece of jerky.

Janet Altschuler is a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney in Tucson. Whether you stand accused of an Arizona hunting law or a drug-related offense, Janet Altschuler can help defend you in court.

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?


Why Can’t No More Than Six Women Can Live Together in Maricopa County, Arizona?

December 3, 2014

In Florida, it’s illegal to break more than three dishes in a day; in Louisiana, you can get fined $500 for having a pizza delivered to someone without their knowledge. There’s no denying that this country’s legislators have passed some strange laws; however, everyday citizens tend to make up laws that are even stranger. In Maricopa County, Arizona, for example, it’s widely believed that no more than six unrelated girls or women can live in the same house.

If more than six women live together, they must be up to no good—specifically, they must be operating a brothel. That’s the mentality that gave rise to this ridiculous urban legend. Still, this “law” has been accepted as truth by Phoenix-area residents since at least since the 1960s. In fact, this myth is often cited as a major reason for the lack of sorority houses at Arizona State University.

It should be noted that there are laws in Arizona that limit the number of people who can live together; however, these laws have nothing to do with gender. In Tempe, AZ, for example, no more than three unrelated people can live together in a single-family home. The law is designed to prevent a large number of people from cramming into a relatively small space.

If you and the other members of your all-female band want to move into a Phoenix house together, you will not be denied on the assumption that you intend to start a brothel. However, you may be denied because of the sheer number of housemates, regardless of gender.

Arizona has its fair share of ridiculous laws. If you are unjustly charged of a crime, consider hiring a Tucson criminal defense attorney. Attorney Janet Altschuler can help the court see your side of the story.

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?


Why You Need a Lawyer If You Are Charged with Theft

December 1, 2014

Like most people, you probably don’t expect to get in trouble with the law. However, there are a number of circumstances that could end with you in handcuffs. For example, your arrest could be the result of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, it’s a good idea to call a criminal defense attorney if you are charged with theft.

Thorough Investigation

Though the police are generally pretty good at investigating criminal activity, they’re not perfect. Also, the police usually don’t try very hard when investigating themselves. The best way to ensure a fair theft investigation is to hire a skilled lawyer who can examine the circumstances of the alleged theft. There’s a good chance that your lawyer will find bits of information that help your case.

Negotiating a Plea Deal

You should hire a criminal defense attorney even if you don’t have much chance of being acquitted. If the evidence against you is overwhelming, a good lawyer can still argue on your behalf and negotiate a fair plea deal with the prosecution. If you accept a plea deal, you will plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Limiting Consequences
If you are innocent, your lawyer will try everything possible to prove your innocence. If you are guilty of theft, your attorney will work hard to reduce your sentence. For example, a lawyer can argue for a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony charge. Though it may not seem like much of a distinction, felony convictions have much harsher long-term consequences than misdemeanor convictions.

Theft charges should be taken very seriously. For the sake of your future, it’s important that you have a skilled Tucson lawyer examine your case and help you clear your name. Janet Altschuler is a Tucson criminal defense attorney with more than 17 years of experience arguing on behalf of accused Tucson residents.

Eating Roadkill in West Virginia

November 30, 2014

Imagine coming home after a long day at work. You detect an odd but intriguing scent from the kitchen as your partner yells, “Dinner’s ready!” You sit down at the table and your partner slides a plate of strange-looking meat in front of you. “What are we eating tonight, sweetie?” you ask. Your partner replies, “Opossum, honey! I ran over him this morning!

Such a scene, while unusual and disturbing to most, would be perfectly legal under West Virginia law. Did you get that? Here it is again: West Virginians are permitted by law to scrape roadkill off the road, take it home, and eat it.

It’s important to note that not all West Virginians take roadkill home and eat it, but they could if they wanted to. Everyone else in the country is forced to keep driving after running over an animal. Instead of chowing down on flattened squirrel, drivers from the other 49 states must settle for pizza, pasta, or another truly unpalatable dinner option.

Every year, Marlinton, West Virginia hosts the Roadkill Cook-off and Festival. Past winners include the porcupine stew and teriyaki marinated bear. You’ll be relieved to know that festivalgoers do not eat real roadkill; rather, they eat clean meat from animals that belong to the same species as common roadkill victims.

If you hit an animal on a West Virginia highway, don’t be upset; you might get a tasty supper out of the experience! Hopefully a chicken decides to cross the road in front of you; or better yet, a lobster riding a cow. Surf ‘n’ turf, anyone?

If a Tucson police officer pulls you over for attempting to take home roadkill, or if you are accused of a more serious crime, let Tucson lawyer Janet Altschuler defend you in court. Attorney Janet Altschuler has successfully argued numerous cases and can help you face your charges head on.

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?


Watering Your Lawn on an Odd-Numbered Day in Minnesota is a Crime

November 20, 2014

When you water your lawn, do you think about your house number? How about the date on your calendar? If you’re planning on moving to Minnesota, you must have these details in mind or else risk a fine.

Many towns in Minnesota institute something called “odd-even sprinkling.” On odd-numbered calendar days, only even-numbered addresses may water their lawns. On even-numbered calendar days, only odd-numbered addresses may turn on the sprinkler. Why can’t even-numbered addresses water on even-numbered days and odd addresses water on odd days, you ask? Don’t be ridiculous!

Since some months have 31 days, you might be thinking that people with even-numbered addresses get to water their lawns for an extra day, and thus have an unfair advantage over folks in odd-numbered dwellings. Fortunately, Minnesota lawmakers have anticipated this discrepancy by banning all watering on the 31st. Also, some cities have banned watering between the hours of 11am and 3pm, as that’s when the water is most likely to evaporate rather than soak into the soil.  

Yes, it’s kind of complicated. To recap, a Minnesotan must consider his house number, the day on the calendar, the time of day, the position of Mercury, the number of freckles on his mother’s left arm, and the current value of Indian Rupees before watering his lawn.

Unfortunately, this law does nothing to prevent Minnesotans from over-watering their lawns on their designated watering days as compensation for non-watering days. Still, Minnesota’s strange watering laws appear to save water. It’s a good thing, too—after all, Minnesota doesn’t have an overabundance of lakes or anything.

Such a strict law might actually be useful in Arizona, where water is in short supply. If you are accused of a crime in or around Tucson, let Janet Altschuler and her legal team help you mount a strong defense.

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?