It’s natural to wonder if you’ve ever unintentionally violated the law. An investigation carried out by the University of Virginia found that the average American unknowingly commits three felonies every day. That’s a staggering number—three felonies.
However, what actions actually qualify as unlawful? Here are a few illegal activities that nearly every American has engaged in at some point in their lives.
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Let’s start with a classic – speeding. We’ve all been guilty of pushing the pedal a little too hard and going over the speed limit, whether out of habit or attempting to make it on time for a necessary appointment.
You’re walking down the street and see no cars coming, so why not just cross the road? Technically, this is considered jaywalking and illegal in most states. So, next time, make sure to use a designated crosswalk.
It’s no secret that many teenagers have experimented with alcohol before age 21. While it may seem harmless at the time, underage drinking is still against the law.
Downloading Music and Movies Illegally
With the rise of streaming services, it may be hard to believe that downloading music and movies illegally is still familiar. But the truth is many Americans still engage in this illegal activity.
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From graffiti on buildings to carving initials into trees, vandalism comes in many forms. And even if it may seem like harmless fun, it is still considered a criminal offense.
Throwing trash on the ground may not seem like a big deal, but it is illegal and can result in fines or community service.
Not Paying Taxes
It’s no secret that taxes are a complicated and often dreaded topic. However, failing to pay your taxes is a serious crime.
With the prevalence of WiFi networks, it’s common for people to use their neighbor’s or friend’s internet without asking. However, this is considered theft of services and is illegal.
Texting While Driving
Despite numerous campaigns and laws against it, texting while driving continues to be a widespread issue. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s also illegal in most states.
Although some states have legalized recreational mar!juana, it remains illegal at the federal level. So, even if it may be legal in your state, possessing and using mar!juana still breaks the law.
Stealing Office Supplies
We’ve all been tempted to take home a few pens or notepads from our workplace. But did you know that even taking small office supplies without permission is considered theft?
While having a few drinks in public may be legal, being intoxicated to the point of causing a disturbance or endangering oneself is considered public intoxication and is against the law.
Cheating on Taxes
We mentioned earlier that not paying taxes is illegal, but did you know cheating on your taxes by underreporting income or claiming false deductions is also a crime?
Lying on a Job Application
It may seem harmless to exaggerate your qualifications or work experience on a job application, but it is considered fraud and can result in legal consequences.
Not Returning Items You Borrowed
Whether it’s a book from the library or a tool from your neighbor, borrowing things without returning them is illegal. So next time, make sure to replace what you borrowed.
Driving Without a Valid License
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Driving without a valid license may seem like a minor offense, but it still breaks the law and can result in fines or jail time.
Skipping Jury Duty
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Jury duty may not be the most exciting thing, but it is a civic responsibility. Refrain from showing up for jury duty with a valid excuse is against the law and can result in penalties.
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While gambling may be legal in some states, it is still considered an illegal activity on a federal level. So, staying away from the slot machines is best unless you’re in Nevada.
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Entering someone else’s property without permission is considered trespassing and is against the law. This includes jumping fences or going through private land to take a shortcut.
Using Someone Else’s Netflix
Sharing passwords for streaming services like Netflix may seem harmless, but it is illegal and can result in fines or imprisonment.
Not Reporting Found Money
Have you ever found a few dollars on the ground and decided to keep them? Technically, you’re supposed to report found money to the authorities. Failing to do so is considered theft.
Driving with a Headlight Out
It may not seem like a big deal, but driving with a headlight is against the law. So next time you notice one of your headlights isn’t working, make sure to get it fixed.
In today’s world, making jokes about carrying a bomb or causing harm on an airplane can result in severe consequences.
While recycling may not be mandatory in all areas, it is still a meaningful way to help the environment. Plus, some cities have implemented laws that require residents to recycle. So next time you want to throw everything into the trash, remember that not recycling can also be breaking the law.
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