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Laws You May Not Know About

Oct 17

I have had several people request that I write about “little known laws.” Here are a few that may interest you (all references made are to the Alabama Code):

Anyone who maims or injures themselves to “excite sympathy or to obtain alms or some sort of charitable relief” is guilty of a class C felony.  §13A-14-1.

Any person who gives a minor a bowie knife shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00. §13A-11-57.

Anyone who carries a concealed slingshot shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail for six months. §13A-11-53.

A person who possesses, obtains, receives, sells, or uses a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun is guilty of a Class C felony. §13A-11-63.

It is illegal for anyone to use pepper spray in the commission of a crime. §13A-6-27.

Anyone who knowingly profits from unlawful gambling activity as a player commits the crime of simple gambling and is guilty of a class C misdemeanor, unless he was engaged in a social game at a private place.  §13A-12-21. However, a person commits the crime of promoting gambling if he profits from unlawful gambling other than as a player and is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. §13A-12-22.

Anyone who finances, advertises, sells tickets to, operates, or purchases a ticket for a hog fight is guilty of illegal hog fighting, which is a class A misdemeanor upon conviction for a first offense and a class C felony for a second offense. §13A-12-6.

Anyone who displays in public any bumper sticker, sign or writing which depicts obscene language descriptive of sexual or excretory activities is guilty of a class C misdemeanor. §13A-12-131

Anyone who promotes, engages in, or is employed at a bear wrestling match is guilty of unlawful bear exploitation, a class B felony. §13A-12-5.

According to §13A-12-1, these acts are prohibited on Sunday: charity work, shooting, hunting, card playing, racing, and compelling a child to perform any labor except customary domestic duties. Anyone violating this law shall be fined not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail, or sentenced to hard labor for the county, for up to three months.

And finally, §13A-14-3 makes it unlawful for any person to promote, advertise or conduct any type of marathon dance contest continuing or intended to continue for a period of more than eight consecutive hours. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days and/or by a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00. My friend Kevin Turner was really upset about this one.

This column is intended for general information purposes only. It is not intended, nor should it be construed as personal legal advice. The answers to most legal problems rely on the specific facts of your situation; therefore, it is very important that you personally see a lawyer when these situations arise.