California is known as the “Golden State”, home to sunshine, beautiful beaches, Hollywood, Disneyland and some very weird questionable laws. There are a handful of laws that are technically still in the books, but they are rarely enforced, unless someone truly wants to push the issue. Many of these laws you may have already violated and have not even known you did.
We have all been guilty of breaking this law and most likely done it on numerous occasions, “rubbernecking” or disrupting the actions of emergency vehicles. Under California Penal Code 402 (a) 3, if you stop or even slow down at the scene of an accident, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or even jail time for impeding emergency workers from accessing the accident.
Most of the time spray paint is locked up and an I.D. is required for purchase. However, giving spray paint to a minor under California Penal Code 594.1 (a)(1) 4, specifically states that giving a minor 6 ounces of spray paint or more is illegal. This law was placed into effect to discourage youth vandalism as well as the possibility of inhalant abuse. If charged as a first offense, a person could face jail time, large fines or community service.
Most of us love coffee and have at least once in our lifetime gone into a coffee shop to use their “free” wi-fi (especially college students), but under California Penal Code Section 487, stealing a coffee shop’s wi-fi without purchasing anything could result in larceny charges fining you up to $5000 in fines and up to one year in jail.
Did you know that being a snoop can land you up to one year of jail time and cost you a $5000 fine? If you disclose a text message that was not intended for you, unfortunately you have just committed a crime. It’s like opening someone else’s mail. California Penal Code section 637.2 (a) 5, punishes an invasion of privacy, such as reading someone else’s text messages, which in the end will cost you.
Now even though these laws are rarely ever enforced there is an off chance that breaking any of these may potentially end you in jail, so just be cautious. These laws are quite interesting but let’s add some head scratching ones that will for sure make you think, “what the..?”.
- No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles an hour. (What about self-driving cars?)
- In the city of San Francisco, it is illegal to have a pet bear, gorilla, crocodile, or any other wild animal. This was already a California State law, but it seems as if some people in the San Francisco community needed a reminder.
- This law was recently thrown out in 2012, but years before, no frisbees or footballs were allowed to be used on Los Angeles beaches without prior permission from a lifeguard.
- In Carmel, California, women are required to have a permit to wear heels more than two inches in height or with a base of less than one square inch. You can get a permit at city hall. *This one is most likely to get you a fine while visiting Carmel.
And last but certainly not least (laws are always changing)…
5. In San Francisco and Long Beach, it is illegal to store anything other than automobiles in a garage.