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Can I Be Convicted of a "Dumb Law"?

In today’s day and age it may sound silly that a state senator must take action to protect the freedoms of unmarried couples. Yet because of an old state law that has not been repealed, one state senator is doing just that. An old Florida law that is still “on the books” makes it illegal for unmarried couples to cohabitate in Florida. According to www.dumblaws.com, this is not the only silly law Florida has enacted during its history:

  • Doors to public buildings must open outwards;
  • Theft of a horse is punishable by death; and
  • Skateboarding without a license is a prohibited offense.

Although the chances of being charged with one of these antiquated offenses is remote, imagining that one is charged with a “silly law” can provide insights into what one should do when facing a legitimate criminal charge.

What Being Charged with a “Silly Law” Can Teach Defendants Charged with Serious Offenses

Those charged with violating Florida’s “silly laws” are not likely to face any serious repercussions. For example, it would be absurd for any prosecutor to pursue a conviction against an unmarried but cohabiting couple. But if a person were to be charged with violating such a law, he or she would likely take several important steps. These steps are instructive to defendants charged with violating a serious state or federal law and can increase the chances that the defendant would be acquitted or would face reduced consequences. These steps include:

  • Understand the nature of the charge. People have ideas about what constitutes “murder” or “drug possession.” Unfortunately, sometimes these ideas do not mirror what the law actually says. It is important to grasp the nature of the charge(s) filed against you. This helps you understand what the prosecution must prove in order to convict you and will help shape your defense.
  • Take a criminal charge seriously. There is no such thing as an inconsequential criminal conviction: even a low-level misdemeanor can saddle you with fines, administrative costs and fees, and cause you to miss one or more days from work. If you do not consider the penalties that can accompany a conviction, you are less likely to take the actions you need to give your case the best opportunity for success.
  • Enlist the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Even escaping a conviction for a “silly law” can require an advocate to present the facts and circumstances of your case to the proper person. This is precisely what a criminal defense attorney does on your behalf. Your defense attorney is best equipped to investigate important aspects of your case and present those facts most relevant to your charge in a persuasive manner, thus increasing your chances of acquittal.

Your Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

South Florida criminal defense attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner has years of experience representing Florida residents and others in the Sunshine State who are charged with a wide variety of criminal offenses. Contact him today to discuss your case by calling (305) 670-9919.

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